LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -Much is done to recognize those who attract and build major industry-- in our area. Yet the economic prosperity and growth would not be possible without the working men and women who make it happen.
Tuesday at noon Rick and Donna Richard unveiled a statue honoring those people in a bronze sculpture prominently displayed on private property at Pujo and Ryan streets in Lake Charles.
Rick Richard says the industry contributed to his personal success.
The reason I went to college and had somewhat of a success is because I went to work at Citgo during the summer months when I was going to LSU and it helped pay my way through school paid my tuition during the summer months,” said Richard.
He says the people he met taught him, the working men and women deserve the recognition.
"It's not just about capital. It's about men and women who use their muscles and sinew to build things. And those plants were built by the people of Southwest Louisiana and we are very, very excited. So, it's not the big construction companies get credit and everything else, but it's the people who actually held the tools, that built it and maintain it and operate it is who we're honoring today," said Richard.
Sculptor Janie Stine LaCroix of Houston says her inspiration for the work was, "When the whistle blows." It shows a man, from the 1950s leaving work. He’s tired, yet appears content after an honest, hard days work,” says LaCroix.
"He's an every man. He is no one in particular. But he is representing and he's a tribute to all of the hard men who work for the industries, all of the industries in Southwest Louisiana," said LaCroix.
And while others echoed Richard’s feelings about the working man local mayors and business leaders there agree the Richards themselves deserve recognition for all they do for the community.
At the base of the statue are plaques honoring the working people and the memory of O.G. Richard, Jr., A.D. Guzman and Bill Flavin.