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Building a place to honor veterans in St. Landry Parish

Posted: 6:42 AM, Aug 30, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-30 07:42:34-04
St. Landry Parish Veterans Memorial sign

It started as a call to action and has turned into a place where young and old can go to reflect and honor those who served our country.

Fifteen longs years after being asked what "she was going to do" to remember a fallen service member, Pat Mason-Guillory can stand in front the St. Landry Parish Veterans Memorial and smile.

"What you see out here, the benches, the flower beds, the trees all are made through donations," says Mason-Guillory who is Project Chairman for the St. Landry Parish Veteran Memorial

But reaching the memorial's current outcome, was not an easy road.

Met with many challenges, Pat says that at times she felt like the world was against her.

But she didn't let those bumps in the road alter her path. She just kept moving forward.

"Through the years, business people, individuals, families and the 'Every Penny Counts Drive' has played a role in this memorial," she says.

Today, benches, a walking path, mementos, and memory gardens fill the 2-acre space.

"We could not do it without the help of just one penny."

While the vision has been realized, Mason-Guillory says there is still a ways to go.

With no set funding, Pat and the rest of her crew depend on donations to keep the memorial up to par.

And unfortunately, they also have to deal with the repercussions of people who don't respect the property of others.

"When you come out here and work very hard, it's not easy to digest that someone would throw paper on the ground, vandalize the literature board that we have, or the light that's out...deliberately broken," she says. "That's hard and that hurts."

But even with these challenges, the determination that started this entire project will never go away.

Breaking down those barriers and honoring all of the men and women who fought for our country.