NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY)- Today, Americans remember the more than one million people who died serving our country.
That includes communities across Acadiana.
The Iberia veterans association held on their annual Memorial Day ceremony at New Iberia’s Bouligny Plaza in Downtown New Iberia.
The ceremony will feature a speech on the true meaning of Memorial Day.
There was also be a laying of the memorial wreath and a 21 gun salute. The event concluded with a rendition of “God Bless America”
Many veterans and their families came out and are thankful New Iberia has a great community of veterans to still connect with.
They added that Memorial Day is a great time to get together and remember their time in service.
“It brings them some satisfaction knowing that somebody’s out there doing something for the veterans, had done for the veterans. A lot of us are veterans. So that makes a difference right there, said military veteran Benny Schovajsa.
Vietnam veteran Ross Rouly, whose father also served in the armed forces in World War II also attended.
Rouly said his dad continues to be his inspiration.
“He got shot Christmas Day of 44 when it was supposed to have a ceasefire for Christmas but that didn’t stop the Germans, they came around and he got shot in the head,” Rouly said.
Rouly’s father survived, but Rouly said he never fails to think of him on Memorial Day.
“He was really lucky. He was supposed to live for 16 months. He lived for 16 years,” Rouley explained. Rouly added that he’s proud of people’s respect for veterans nowadays; that wasn’t always the case for him after the Vietnam War.
“They look up to them. Because when we came back from the service, there was no coming home. You had to hide almost. People would spit on you and everything else,” Rouly said.
But on this Memorial Day, it’s a different view with many remembering those who died in service and continuing to support the veterans who are still alive.
“Let’s get the people to come out and support the veterans, take care of the veterans and say hello to a veteran when they see them on the street. Go visit them in the hospitals, nursing homes,” Schovajsa said.