The Louisiana National Guard and Gov. John Bel Edwards dedicated a memorial to guardsmen who died serving the country during a ceremony at the Louisiana Veterans Memorial Park in Baton Rouge on May 21.
The memorial is a pedestal with the National Guard Minutemen on top, and it’s surrounded by bricks with the names of Louisiana National Guardsmen who have been killed since 9/11.
The pedestal faces a monument dedicated to Gold Star Families in a symbolic gesture that LANG Guardsmen watch over those families.
“This park , this monument and the Gold Star monument that we put up last September all serve to remind everybody who visits the park of the sacrifice being made today by so many people who are serving us and that have been made by those who were killed in the line of duty,” Edwards said.
The LANG’s 159th Fighter Wing conducted a flyover during the ceremony with four F-15 fighter jets, and the First Assault Helicopter Battalion, 244th Aviation Regiment conducted a flyover with four UH-60 Black Hawks
“It’s great that we live in a country and state that will stop for a moment like this to recognize what your soldiers did in service to our nation,” Maj. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis, the adjutant general of the LANG who hosted the ceremony, said. “No family should have to go through what you went through and what you continue to go through.”
At the end of the ceremony, Edwards and Curtis gifted LANG Gold Star Families, who lost family members who served in the military, duplicate bricks with their fallen family members’ names engraved on them.
“I am particularly thankful, as we should all be, for our National Guard,” Edwards said. “They are great war fighters, they help us respond to national disasters, they run Youth Challenge programs… they do so much in Louisiana to contribute each and every day to our state and to our country, and they have saved thousands of lives in the wake of events.”