As we take this month to honor those that defend our way of life as a country, we must also not forget about the soldiers that never find their way back home.
The village of Anacoco came together on Friday to remember and honor the brave men and women that find themselves as either prisoners of war or missing in action, holding out hope for their eventual return and their much needed rest.
The ceremony held many members of the community in attendance, with Anacoco mayor Keith Lewing opening the breakfast along with Reverend Sean Cho, both of whom express their own sense of understanding and melancholy for the soldiers still lost.
“This is our fifth annual ceremony, and we’re proud to be a city that is really devoted to praying for every soldier, not just the ones that come back,” Lewing said. “When we started, we typically held it inside the town hall, but as the years have gone by, our numbers have expanded as people reach out to participate and show their appreciation.”
Jesse Campos, the Post Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 727, was in attendance to lead the gathering in the remembrance ceremony, calling attention to the many that still found themselves missing or to the many families still praying for their soldier’s return.
Campos expresses a deep appreciation for the amount of people involved with the ceremony on Friday, going into detail about how much of an honor it is to see how much these soldiers are missed and prayed for.
“It’s very important, to remember everything our fellow soldiers go through, because we have been through those struggles,” Campos says. “We may not have served at the same time or the same place, gone through the same ordeals or toils, but we understand the anguish that comes with not knowing where your comrade or family is. Several soldiers in the Korean war, they died in captivity, and its important to remember the soldiers that gave their lives and never got to see their loved ones or their home again.”
Garrison Commander Jarret A. Thomas from Fort Polk was also in attendance, to show the spirit that the military shares in remembering these soldiers.
After the ceremony, Lewing informed the community at large about another way of honoring those that died and are still missing in action. The village of Anacoco is currently in the midst of building their Veterans Memorial Park, and are offering citizens the chance to buy one of the bricks that will be used in the construction.
The memorial park will be funded entirely by donation, with each brick costing $50.00. Those that buy one will have the opportunity to choose what will be engraved on their brick, which will adorn the floor of the Memorial Park. The money raised from this program will allow for the upkeep of the park.
For more information on the Memorial Park, you may contact the Anacoco Town Council at (337) 239 - 0215, or visit the Town Hall at 4933 Shreveport Highway in Anacoco.