St. Landry Parish Veteran’s Memorial expanding

A gathering place for Acadiana military veterans and their families is expanding. The St. Landry Parish Veteran’s Memorial has become a sanctuary for local heroes and family members of fallen soldiers.

Vietnam War Veteran, Paul Gennuso, said he’s proud to see the memorial constantly expanding. “I think it’s great. I think it’s long overdue.”

The Memorial’s Project Chairman, Pat Mason-Guillory, said there are over 2,000 bricks on the military walkway. She said the committee is preparing to add space for about 500 more.

Gennuso said this memorial speaks volumes for those who are no longer here. “I look around at all the names on the bricks and I understand there are many and I understand there are many more to come, but it’s very peaceful to me. It’s relaxing. I come to see some of my former friends who are no longer with us.”

The memorial is located right off of Highway 182. Mason-Guillory is waiting for approval from the senate on renaming that section of the roadway Veteran’s Memorial Highway.

Arnaudville Native, Lydia Knott, said her late husband, Donald Knott, served as an Army Sergeant in the Korean War and is glad to hear the progress that’s being made to honor veterans. “It’s so nice to be able to come here and be able to remember what they went through.”

Mason-Guillory said she’s also hoping to add a museum to the memorial. “This is a request of veterans from when I first started with Desert Storm. We are hoping that the family would consider donating their loved ones things to place out here.” She said she and her committee will continue to make this memorial a place veterans and their families can be proud of.

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