Westlake Veterans Memorial Park now open

Updated: Jun. 4, 2020 at 4:05 AM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The idea started as a 15-thousand dollar fountain and has now turned into a 2.5 million dollar memorial for Lake Area Veterans. The Westlake Veterans Memorial Park is now substantially complete, thanks to efforts by the recreation board, City of Westlake and the Armed Services Commission.

"When you think about what we started with, a 15 thousand dollar set up," said Bob Hardey, mayor of Westlake. "We got that just in this one wall now. So, it's unbelievable what we ended up with. The recreation department basically blew it out of the water. It's something like you were sitting in Washington, DC. looking at it, in the little town of Westlake."

The memorial is now part of Pinederosa Park and includes and adjacent multipurpose building.

"It's unbelievable how it started, because we were actually talking about a fountain in the park," said Chad Evans, executive director of Ward 4, Recreation Dist. 1. "It started evolving, one idea after another. Then we went to the mayor's office and we started feeding ideas off each other and came to this."

Just added is a section titled "All gave some, some gave all," featuring a female presenting a casket flag and a rose in memory of a veteran.

"As I told you when I walked into this area a while ago, I actually got a chill," said Bobby Letard, board member. "It excited me. I cannot imagine a veteran walking in this part of it and not feeling very good about it."

Westlake City Hall (337-433-0691) is still taking names to be added to the granite slabs. The city hopes to have a dedication ceremony around July 4, 2020.

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