St. Charles Parish has made what it called a difficult decision to postpone the ribbon cutting of the parish’s new Veterans Memorial Plaza, the move made due to unexpected shipping delays.
The annual Veterans Day Luncheon hosted by St. Charles Parish President Matthew Jewell and Sheriff Greg Champagne will still occur. Veterans and their spouses are invited to the Edward A. Dufresne Community Center on Nov. 10 at 11:30 a.m. for a brief program and lunch.
The ribbon cutting for the memorial was slated to happen on Nov. 10. As of Tuesday, the new date is still to be determined.
“The Veterans Memorial Plaza will be a great place to recognize all of our veterans, and while it is disappointing that it is not finished, moving forward with anything short of a complete memorial would be a disservice to our veterans,” said St. Charles Parish President Matthew Jewell. “This was not an easy decision to make, but a necessary one so we can ensure everyone can memorialize their loved ones who have served our great nation.”
While the ribbon cutting is delayed, residents may still purchase bricks for a veteran to be placed at the Veterans Memorial Plaza. Bricks are $150 and more information on requirements on purchasing the bricks may be found at the parish’s website.
The Veterans Memorial Plaza is being established at the Edward A. Dufresne Community Center in Luling and will honor living veterans and stand as a place to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Ground broke on the plaza in June of 2021, officially moving forward what was a work in progress across three different parish administrations. The Veterans Memorial Plaza will honor all five branches of the Armed Forces. The plaza will also house the state’s second Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, which provides a place of permanence for Gold Star Families to gather.
The Gold Star Families Memorial Monument has four panels recognizing Homeland, Family, Patriot and Sacrifice. Organizers said the highlight of the monument is a silhouette of a saluting service member, representing the legacy of loved ones who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.
The plaza will also feature a POW/MIA statue to recognize American prisoners of war and those missing in action, as well as a Purple Heart Memorial. Plans are for the VFW and the American Legion to sell personalized bricks that will pave the way to the Gold Star Families Monument.
Once completed, parish officials said the plaza will serve as a host for all Veterans Day Ceremonies and other tributes to the Armed Forces in the parish. LED lights will frame the plaza, which will allow access for evening tributes and provide nighttime visibility from the Hale Boggs Bridge.