Memorial Day – Some Gave All

Photo by Hannah Richardson

The Natchitoches Parish Veterans and Memorial Park Committee will host a Memorial Day Program Monday, May 31 at 10 a.m. on the downtown Fleur de Lis stage.

American flags snap in the breeze along the downtown riverbank in recognition of Memorial Day, which honors men and women who died while serving in the US Military.  Memorial Day will be observed Monday, May 31. There will be a program by the Natchitoches Parish Veterans and Memorial Park Committee at 10 a.m. on the Fleur de Lis stage.


Memorial Day program slated for 10 a.m. May 31

The Natchitoches Parish Veterans and Memorial Park Committee will host a Memorial Day Program Monday, May 31 at 10 a.m. on the downtown Fleur de Lis stage. The program will be a memorial to all those who died in the defense of the country and those who have died since their service. Four Veterans will read the names of all those who lost their lives between May 2019 to May 2021, since the committee has not had a program during that time frame due to Covid-19.

This article published in the May 29-30, 2021, print edition

Natchitoches area veterans participating in the program include: Jeremy Miller, Master of Ceremonies Tommy Stewart Ron Brown Wayne Nelson Deanna Fowler Ted Fowler Janet Darfus Musical soloists include Sarah Peryear Dunn, Leta Brown and Natchitoches student Darvy Allison. Taps will be played by John Dunn. Posting of the colors will by the NCHS JROTC, under the direction of Col. Tony Mault.

The program will feature U.S. Congressman Mike Johnson as the Keynote Speaker. They will utilize the amphitheatre seating, but attendees are welcome to bring folding chairs. The program will feature musical presentations, a tribute to a long time park committee member, Truman Maynard, and dedication of five new bricks to the Veterans Park.

Feel free to visit the park on Second Street after the program on the riverbank. The 5 new bricks to be dedicated in the park are for: Pattinson F. Willis J. Milton Corley Wilton Corley Lawson Boyer E. J. (Red) Lapeyrouse Family members attending will be recognized during the program. There will be a table set up to distribute programs and pass out poppies.

In case of inclement weather, the alternate location will be the Knights of Columbus Hall.


How to properly display the American flag

•When the flag is displayed over the middle of the street, it should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east and west street or to the east in a north and south street. •The flag of the United States of America, when it is displayed with another flag against a wall from crossed staffs, should be on the right, the flag’s own right [that means the viewer’s left —Webmaster], and its staff should be in front of the staff of the other flag.

•The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. By “half-staff” is meant lowering the flag to one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff. Crepe streamers may be affixed to spear heads or flagstaffs in a parade only by order of the President of the United States.

•When flags of States, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with the flag of the United States, the latter should always be at the peak. When the flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the flag of the United States should be hoisted first and lowered last. No such flag or pennant may be placed above the flag of the United States or to the right of the flag of the United States (the viewer’s left). When the flag is half-masted, both flags are half-masted, with the US flag at the mid-point and the other flag below.

•When the flag is suspended over a sidewalk from a rope extending from a house to a pole at the edge of the sidewalk, the flag should be hoisted out, union first, from the building.

•When the flag of the United States is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from the window sill, balcony, or front of a building, the union of the flag should be placed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff.

•When the flag is used to cover a casket, it should be so placed that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground.

•When the flag is displayed in a manner other than by being flown from a staff, it should be displayed flat, whether indoors or out. When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag’s own right, that is, to the observer’s left. When displayed in a window it should be displayed in the same way, that is with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street. When festoons, rosettes or drapings are desired, bunting of blue, white and red should be used, but never the flag.

•That the flag, when carried in a procession with another flag, or flags, should be either on the marching right; that is, the flag’s own right, or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.

•The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of States or localities or pennants of societies are grouped and displayed from staffs.

•When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.

•When displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium on or off a podium, the flag of the United States of America should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the clergyman’s or speaker’s right as he faces the audience. Any other flag so displayed should be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker (to the right of the audience).

•When the flag is displayed on a car, the staff shall be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.

•When hung in a window where it is viewed from the street, place the union at the head and over the left shoulder.

History of Memorial Day

Source: Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

Memorial Day originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. But during World War I the United States found itself embroiled in another major conflict, and the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars, including World War II, The Vietnam War, The Korean War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Cities and towns across the United States host Memorial Day parades each year, often incorporating military personnel and members of veterans’ organizations. Americans also observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials.

Some people wear a red poppy in remembrance of those fallen in war, a tradition that began with a World War I poem. Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae spotted a cluster of poppies that spring, shortly after the Second Battle of Ypres.

Struck by the sight of bright red blooms on broken ground, McCrae wrote a poem,

“In Flanders Field.”

“In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place;

and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing,

fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.

Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep,

though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.