A large crowd gathered in the field next to Anacoco Townhall, the site for the new Anacoco Veterans Memorial Park. Anacoco Town Councilman John Shraven was the emcee for the event held Saturday morning under an overcast sky.
The Posting of the Colors was provided by the Vietnam Veterans Association followed by the Invocation given by JD Haymon followed by Sydney Williams who sang the national anthem.
A memorial park has been a dream of many veterans and Anacoco residents for some time. After hearing about the idea the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, Chapter 6-1, got involved raising and donating $8,500 for the park.
On Saturday many veterans, residents and officials from around the parish, Fort Polk and the State were on hand to see that dream come true.
Anacoco has a long history with the military and in fact, if it weren’t for Fort Polk, Anacoco the town could have died off a long time ago.
On hand to say a few words of appreciation for veterans and military personnel was former Vernon Parish Sheriff, now Louisiana State District 24 Representative Frankie Howard.
JRTC and Fort Polk Commander Brigadier General Patrick Frank thanked the residents and the Town of Anacoco for all they do for the military at Fort Polk and for their support. Frank explained what Anacoco means to those stationed at Fort Polk and noted the flags that line the highway.
Frank said the small town values that Anacoco residents live intersect with Army values and Anacoco is a pretty amazing place.
Fort Polk Garrison Commander Jarrett Thomas said Anacoco Mayor Keith Lewing was a true hero to Fort Polk soldiers and their families for his dedication and commitment to both active duty and veterans.
The Anacoco Veterans Memorial Park will be a fitting tribute to what (veterans) have given to their country,” Thomas said.
Mayor Lewing said the park is dedicated to everyone who has served in any branch of the military. Lewing gave a special thank you to Civil Engineer Nathan Jernigan who drew the architectural designs for the park.
Those who took part in the groundbreaking were Frank Howard, BG Patrick Frank, COL Jarrett Thomas, Mayor Keith Lewing, Anacoco Pro Tem Laverne Miers, Anacoco Councilman John Shraven, Anacoco Councilman Mark Phillips, Planning Committee Representative Shebia Isgitt, CVMA Representative Michael Long and Military Order of the Purple Heart Representative Jesse Campos.
The Anacoco Veterans Memorial Park Committee is conducting a ‘Engrave a Brick Program’ to raise funds for the park construction. Each brick has up to three lines, sixteen characters per line, upper case only for personalization to honor or memorialize a veteran who has served our country. Bricks are $50.00 each.
For more information call the Village of Anacoco Town Hall at (337) 239-0215 between 9:00am - 3:30pm.