Tuesday, November 13, 2012
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH – In honor of our veterans, the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office, Parish Government and the Southeast Louisiana War Veteran’s Home hosted the second annual St. John Parish Veterans Day Parade and Celebration on Sunday. The Sheriff’s Office Young Marines were also present and were instrumental in carrying out this event. The parade began at Home Depot in LaPlace and traveled west down Airline Highway to the Southeast Louisiana (SELA) War Veterans Home in Reserve for food, fun and music.
President Natalie Robottom, Sheriff Michael Tregre, State Representative Randal Gaines and State Representative Clay Schexnayder were on hand for the celebration and to express their gratitude to the veterans and their families. Parish President Robottom and Sheriff Mike Tregre served as guest speakers.
“It is important to us in St. John that we acknowledge our veterans and their families. As we celebrate, let’s not forget those members of our community who lost their lives fighting for our country and those in the armed forces fighting today. This ceremony is only a small token of our appreciation,” said Parish President Natalie Robottom. Sheriff Tregre added, “Sacrifices made by veterans should be celebrated on a daily basis, not just today”.
The parade of convertibles, jeeps, motorcycles and service oriented vehicles traveled slowly along Airline Highway showcasing local veterans including Louisiana State Representative and Army Veteran, Randal Gaines. The parade concluded at the War Veterans Home where family members, friends, and residents attended the scheduled ceremony. Legacy Hospice Services presented SELA War Veterans Home with certificates and American flag pins for each veteran
Following the guest speakers, veterans were recognized during the ceremony as each branch of service’s anthem was played. Willie Klibert, a member of the United States Air Force during World War II stated, “It’s nice to see how supportive the community is toward veterans. I hope this celebration continues for years to come; it truly means a lot to us.” Other veterans showed their excitement about the Veterans Day event. “The ceremony was beautiful,” said Ralph Millet, a member of the United States Coast Guard during World War II. “I couldn’t help but smile when my song was played; the coast guard was my life.”
Lt. Bertrand expressed his gratitude for all who attended. “I’m happy to see such a great turnout from the veterans and residents,” said Lt. Bertrand. “It shows how much St. John really cares.”