BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — This Veterans Day state leaders honored those who have sacrificed so much at the Capitol Park Museum.
On The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, leaders and people all across the state came together to honor America’s bravest citizens.
“We come together to honor and remember the millions of service men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our nation’s freedom,” said Louisiana Regent Society of Daughters of The American Revolution Charlotte White.
Leader after leader expressed the true meaning of Veterans Day.
“These young men and women are a part of the unending line of proud citizens who answered our nation’s calling.,” said Veterans Affairs Secretary Joey Strickland.
U.S. Navy veteran and Purple Heart recipient Richard O’Brien attended the ceremony.
“The people who came here, came here because they love their country — and that’s exactly what I want to see,” he said.
The Never Forget Garden was also unveiled during the ceremony as a part of the Centennial Celebration of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Former president of the American Rose Society Marilyn Wellan, who helped plan the event, said it holds a special place in her heart.
“One really, really hot July, 14 Rosarians came together in this garden and planted 138 rose bushes that are going to be a major part of this Never Forget Garden,” she explained.
The American Rose Society and others planted these seeds and hoped it would inspire others to never forget.
“The Never Forget Garden is so necessary because so many people forget about these people who are out there giving their lives for us because they love this country,” said the wife of a late veteran and member of the American Rose Society, Frances Anderson.
Staff Sergeant Justice Branson, who currently serves in the Marines and is a part of the Baton Rouge Marine Corps Recruiting Office, admired the lovely memento dedicated to all veterans.
“I just hope that one day I can live up to the expectations of the people who led me to this point,” said Branson.
He also honors his big brother who serves, along with his own grandfather who passed away after serving as a captain in the Army Reserves.
“I think he would say he is proud of me. I hope he will say that. But each day I wake up I hope to make the people I look up to most proud of me,” said Branson.
This garden will be a permanent part of Louisiana’s Veterans Memorial Park.
The American Rose Society said the roses will blossom in spring and encourage everyone to come out and honor those who have fought for freedom.