JENNINGS, LA (KPLC) - Young and old, hundreds gathered Friday morning at the Southwest Louisiana War Veterans Home in Jennings to remember fallen service members ahead of memorial day.
U.S. Congressman Clay Higgins was the keynote speaker for a special ceremony honoring local veterans.
Higgins was also there to recognize World War II Veteran, Sgt. James Bollich (Ret.) of Lafayette, with the congressional gold medal.
Sgt. Bollich is a survivor of the Bataan Death March and was a prisoner of war for more than three years.
Higgins said it was an honor to give the medal to Bollich.
"I was spiritually moved by just being in his presence," Higgins said. "It's amazing to meet anyone who survived something like that and lived to tell the tale."
The Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom are the highest civilian awards in the United States.