Veterans events grow in 2013

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 13, 2013

By David Vitrano

LAPLACE – St. John the Baptist Parish staged its third annual Veterans Day Parade Monday, and following last year’s post-Hurricane Isaac scaled-down affair this year’s event was bigger and better than ever.
The parade started, as it has in years past, at the Home Depot parking lot in LaPlace and proceeded down Airline Highway past patriotic groups waving small American flags to the Southeast Louisiana War Veterans Home in Reserve. There, a short program featuring the Marine Corps Band and several guest speakers followed.
Among the guest speakers was Lt. Gen. Richard P. Mills of the United States Marine Corps. Mills is currently commander of the Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North, headquartered at the Marine Corps Support Facility New Orleans.
The program concluded with a balloon release and refreshments.
In St. James Parish, Sunday evening was set aside to honor the veterans. The informal event drew hundreds of people, who all seemed to enjoy the jambalaya and other local specialties on offer. The event this year was moved from the St. James Welcome Center to Gramercy Park. The move made the event a little more family friendly as children could run and play on the fields at the park while parents caught up with friends and enjoyed the entertainment. Several local schools performed patriotic songs, and the evening closed with a fireworks show.