The American Legion, Post 387 (New Llano) held Memorial Day ceremonies in Leesville Monday, continuing with the tradition of honoring and remembering those from Vernon Parish who served in the Armed Forces, both currently and formerly.
The American Legion, Post 387 (New Llano) held Memorial Day ceremonies in Leesville Monday, continuing with the tradition of honoring and remembering those from Vernon Parish who served in the Armed Forces, both past and present.
The guest speaker for the event was Col. Randall Harris, Deputy Commander of the Operations Group at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, who talked about the history of Memorial Day but also how the timing of the day fits into the calendar.
"This is a time of renewal and strength, after a winter of loss and sacrifice," he said.
Harris also challenged the crowd to take time out of their day to honor and listen to veterans in their families.
"We should seize the day to seek them out, veterans of all eras, and hear their stories," he said. "Then we should pass them on from generation to generation.
"Today is a somber day, but also a day to rejoice," Harris said.
Leesville Mayor Robert Rose made the opening remarks, and said that one of his greatest honors as a mayor was to be "standing in front of a group of veterans and helping to celebrate and memorialize those soldiers."
He also spoke about the community's support of Fort Polk, and how Monday's ceremony was an example of what Memorial Day should be about.
"We are Fort Polk, everybody here," Rose said. "This is what it's (Memorial Day) all about. People coming out, taking time out of their day...to honor those who served."
The American Legion Eighth District Colorguard presented the colors during the cermony. Chaplain Howard Moore gave the invocation and Chaplain Mary Stewart gave the benediction.