Holiday illuminated display honors Louisiana soldiers’ sacrifices
A person looks at the new illuminated holiday display in the Louisiana Veterans Memorial Park on the grounds of the State Capitol that honors Louisiana soldiers who lost their lives while on duty in Baton Rouge , Louisiana. 7, 2022. (Greg Hilburn / The News-Star via AP)
BATON ROUGE, Louisiana – A new display of Christmas lights in the Louisiana Veterans Memorial Park on the grounds of the State Capitol is a radiant reminder of the Louisiana soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in exercise of their functions.
A corridor of trees illuminated by sparkling, brilliant white lights framing the Louisiana Capitol in the background pays homage to those who lost their lives in the line of duty and their Gold Star families.
The U.S. Armed Forces Memorial Grove of Lights can be seen through January 7, 2022 with the best view from 599 State Capitol Dr. at the entrance to Louisiana Veterans Memorial Park, opposite the Governor’s Mansion.
“These men and women from all branches of the military who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedom we all enjoy, have paid a huge price in doing so, and they deserve to be honored and remembered,” said Governor of Louisiana Edwards in a statement. declaration. “We know the holiday season can be a very difficult time for their families who have loved and supported them, which is why we wanted to find a special way to recognize their courage and service.
Edwards is a United States Army veteran and former ranger.
“As a veteran, I know that when a loved one commits to service, his family serves with him. We owe him our gratitude and will keep him in our prayers.”
Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Joey Strickland, a retired U.S. Army Colonel, is also the father of combat soldiers.
“I understand the sacrifice families make daily when loved ones are in danger,” Strickland said. “I also understand how difficult it is, especially during the holidays, to carry the burden and memories of those who have been lost on the battlefield in the service of our nation. (We pay) tribute and honor these Gold families Star, and we will keep them in our thoughts and prayers this holiday season. “
The tradition of the gold star began during World War I. During the war, a blue star was used on service flags and hung in homes and businesses to represent every living active duty member. When military personnel were killed in action, the gold star was superimposed on the blue star to honor the person for their ultimate sacrifice for the country. Eventually, the mothers of these deceased servicemen became known as Gold Star Mothers and their families Gold Star Families.
The Louisiana Gold Star Families Memorial in Louisiana Veterans Memorial Park honors Gold Star families, preserves the memory of those who have died, and starkly serves as a stark reminder that freedom is not free. The memorial is the first of its kind in the country to be placed on the grounds of the State Capitol.
Last month on Veterans Day, Edwards and Strickland also opened a Never Forget Garden in the park to mark the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The Veterans Memorial Park Garden is a statewide volunteer project of Louisiana members of the American Rose Society, the Louisiana Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Louisiana Garden Club Federation.