A celebration of freedom filled the Veterans' Memorial Park in Gonzales Wednesday morning.
The Veterans' Day program featured several local dignitaries, a table of remembrance, the firing of the volley and performances by a choir comprised of students from three Ascension Parish high schools.
"We want to express our thanks to each and every one of the veterans out there," said Jack Watson, one of the event's organizers.
Sgt. Herman Deculas of Brusly served as the guest speaker.
"This day is dedicated to all who answered the call to serve," he said.
He also noted that the millions of veterans have come from many different generations and backgrounds to meet for a common goal.
"All contributed to the greatness of America," Deculas said.
He suggested for everyone to shake hands, give hugs and words of thanks to every veteran they encounter.
The choir sang a medley of patriotic songs. Students from East Ascension, St. Amant and Dutchtown high schools joined together to form the choir.
The St. Amant High NJROTC presented the colors to open the ceremony.
Stephen Henry, Commander of American Legion Post 81, introduced the local dignitaries.
Parish President Tommy Martinez and Councilman Pat Bell each spoke briefly. Bell said the council will honor at their next meeting 13 soldiers who have returned from serving in Iraq.
The Rev. Jerry Nobles and the Rev. Jimmy Little led the invocation and benediction, respectively.
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