Honoring our Veterans


On Veterans Day, Americans honor all American veterans, both living and dead for their sacrifices in protecting the greatest country in the world. At exactly 11 a.m., each Nov. 11, a color guard made up of members from each of the military branches, renders honors to America’s war dead during a heart-moving ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. The President or his representative places a wreath at the Tomb and a bugler sounds Taps.

Huey P. O’Neal

The balance of the ceremony, including a “Parade of Flags” by numerous veterans’ service organizations, takes place inside the Memorial Amphitheater, adjacent to the Tomb. The bloodshed and sacrifice for our freedom began in 1776 when the British colonies on the east coast of the United State signed the Declaration of Independences to obtain freedom from the British. Many of the 56 signers were captured, tortured and killed by the British. The signers were men of wealth, education and faith in God who were willing to sacrifice everything for our freedom to worship God and to achieve God given goals. American veterans have met major challenges for the past 241 years to protect our freedoms. The United States Constitution is based on biblical principles and the veterans have sworn an oath to defend the Constitution at all costs.

With God’s providence, the veterans have saved not only the United States, but the world from tyranny. God has blessed the United States because of our faith. U. S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told some Louisiana high school students that God has blessed the United States because we have honored God. To be a great country, we must recognize God in our daily lives, our governmental functions and in our churches on Sundays. Veterans and their families must be honored for their sacrifices and bloodshed in protecting the greatest country in the world in God’s providence. President Abraham Lincoln said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedom, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” People of faith must continue to be active in honoring God, and our veterans who protect us from evil around the world. Freedom is costly but it is worth it. There will be continued challenges by evil forces. We must show appreciation to our veterans and thank them for their service.

Huey P. O’Neal, USAF – Ret. West Monroe


LSMSA Veterans and the public are invited to the Veterans Day program hosted by the Student Government Organization at the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts. Brandy Mai, a career communications professional, will deliver the keynote address during the program at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, in Treen Auditorium. Mai earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern State University in 2011 and completed graduate coursework in communications at Purdue University.

She also attended Defense Information School in public affairs/photojournalism and the USIS Investigator Academy for federal contract investigator training. She has served as owner of Mai Consultant; director of public relations and marketing for Nine Line Apparel; communications officer for Georgia Tech University; director of public relations and marketing for the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force; and director of communications for the Georgia Historical Society. Her military and government work include serving as a federal investigator for the USIS, a public affairs specialist (civilian) at Fort Polk, a public affairs specialist (civilian) at Fort Huachuca and a public affairs specialist/photojournalism for the U.S. Army. For more information about the Veterans Day program at LSMSA call Karen Townsend at 357-2580 or email her at ktownsend@lsmsa.edu.

The Natchitoches Parish Veterans and Memorial Park Veterans Day Service, “Salute to Women Veterans” is set for 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Park beside and behind the Old Courthouse Museum on the corner of Second and Church Streets. The program will include: Master of Ceremonies – Truman Maynard Opening Prayer – Rev. Lindy Broderick Posting of the Colors – Lakeview High School Air Force Jr. ROTC Pledge of Allegiance – James Gay Singing of the National Anthem – Leta Townsend Brown Veterans Day Introduction  – Scott Stetson, USA (R) Veterans Day Remarks – LTC Sonja L. Whitehead, the 519th MP Battalion Commander Recognition of Women Veterans – Donna Masson and Valerie Minchew Update on Park Projects and Pavers – Donna Masson Comments from the VFW/American Legion and Auxiliaries – Dee Fowler DAR Patriotic Tree – Dr. Colleen Lancaster Closing Prayer – Rev. Clair Loraine The Patriotic Tree sponsored by the St. Denis Chapter of DAR honoring all area veterans will be on display in the lobby of the Downtown City Bank, Nov. 2 – 21. Inclement Weather Plan – Natchitoches Arts Center For more information contact Grant Bowden at 357-3106 or Bob Gillan at 352-7746.

Natchitoches Central JROTC will host a program for veterans Monday, Nov. 13 at NCHS. The reception is at 9 a.m. and the program started at 10 a.m. RSVP by calling the JROTC Department at (318) 352-9656 by Nov. 10. Veterans are invited to enjoy refreshments with

Natchitoches Career Solutions Center staff Thursday, Nov. 9 from 1-3 p.m. at 303 Bienville. The Natchitoches VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic will host a free luncheon  and entertainment for Veteran’s Day Thursday, Nov. 9, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m..  The clinic is located at 740 Keyser Avenue, Suite B, Natchitoches. For more information, call 357-3346.  All veterans and family members are welcome to attend.