Veterans deserve to be honored every day of the year

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 5, 2011

Veterans’ Day is coming this Friday, and St. John the Baptist Parish plans to honor those heroes in a bigger way than ever before.

In a project spearheaded by the St. John Young Marines and Unit Commander Brian Bertrand, a parade will roll down Airline Highway on Friday. It won’t be a parade in the sense that most in south Louisiana are accustomed, however. While most parades transfer the attention to the spectator with the tossing of beads and trinkets, this parade’s focus will remain on those riding in it — the veterans themselves. And that is how it should be on Veterans Day.

This year, Veterans Day is unique. It falls on 11-11-11, so it is perhaps fitting that St. John Parish will begin a new tradition on that day. The region has a long history of service to the country, and those men and women who fought for freedom should be remembered and praised.

The parade will start at 11 a.m. and proceed up Airline Highway to the Southeast Louisiana War Veterans Home in Reserve. It won’t be terribly elaborate, but it is important the public takes a few minutes out of their day to stand along the route and show the veterans how much their work is appreciated.

For those in St. James Parish, the annual Veterans Day Celebration will be held at the St. James Parish Welcome Center in Gramercy on Nov. 10 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. There will be food, fun and fireworks, and attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and spend some time with the rest of the community in honor of those who served.

Look for more on the various Veterans Day celebrations in the River Parishes in Wednesday’s L’Observateur.

Regardless of how you choose to honor the veterans on their special day, the most important thing to remember is honoring them should not be relegated to one day per year. There are plenty of things one can do to show appreciation all year long. Volunteering at the War Veterans Home is one of them, but if you cannot make that much of a commitment, just dropping in from time to time to thank them and spend some time with them is also appreciated. Lastly, L’Observateur and the St. John Young Marines will be teaming up once again to collect gifts for the veterans this holiday season, so be on the lookout for more details on that in the near future.