St. Landry

Dec 30, 2011 10:09 PM by Chris Welty

New Year Brings New Memorial

The new year will bring with it a new memorial in St. Landry Parish, honoring members of all branches of the military.

The site at Harry Guilbeau Road and LA-182 in Opelousas may loook like any other construction site ready for development, but this is a special one that has been in the works for years.

"Nearly eight years now and it is a reality as we speak," said Army Veteran Charles W. Ross.

The veterans memorial will sit on two and a half acres of land in Opelousas, honoring all branches of the military. This project doesn't come cheaply, it has a price tag of more than 200,000 dollars. Organizers are selling bricks that can be inscribed with the name of a veteran to help pay for the memorial.

"You get to own a piece of it. Even if you aren't in the military, you get to own a piece of it," said Lieutenant Malcolm Simien of the United States Navy.

Simien, has served in the Navy for more than 20 years. He says he's happy to finally see a memorial in the works for St. Landry Parish. "You can really see the support from your community when you come home and see something like this. The kind words are nice, but this is also something we can come home and see."

Once the memorial is complete veterans and serviceman alike say that the site isn't just for them, but it's for everyone and future generations.

"We can come home, bring our family and share it with. This is an awesome thing. My parish, my city really supports me and you think about this when we are on deployment and we are out for six months, 8 months. You think about these things and it is very heart warming for us out there," said Simien.

To donate or for more information, contact the memorial project head, Pat Mason-Guillory, at 337-948-3657 or 337-948-8093. You can also email her at

The memorial is expected to open by Memorial Day.

Chris Welty



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