Run/walk benefits future veterans’ memorial park

Published 12:39 pm Friday, November 12, 2021

On Saturday, Nov. 6, citizens from all over Washington Parish came out to support the creation of “Our Veterans Memorial Park.” The property is on Highway 10 and Dollar Road, between Bogalusa and Franklinton. LSU has agreed to a 30-year lease on this property to allow the creation of this park.

The activities began on Saturday with a “Run for our Veterans,” a 5K run/walk, with about 20 participants.

Throughout the day, various school and church groups provided patriotic and uplifting music to honor veterans. A prayer was given to open the day by Dr. Cody Warren of Franklinton First Baptist Church. John Gallaspy, well known and beloved citizen of Washington Parish, recited “In Flanders Fields” to those gathered.

The groups that participated were Pine High School, Franklinton Demonaires, ROTC and Franklinton High School Band, Ben’s Ford Youth Choir, Bowling Green Elementary Choir, First Baptist Church music team, and the Bogalusa High School Choir. A special thanks is extended to those groups, the parents and families who attended and all the Washington Parish citizens who came out to support the effort. Volunteers worked all day to make it a success, and there are many thanks for their energy and dedication as the committee begins this park project.

The first “Memorial Brick” was purchased by the Magic City American Legion Post to honor Hulon Whittington, a Washington Parish native who earned the Congressional Medal of Honor. The 40 & 8 purchased the second brick for the Terrell brothers, L.C. and Ubert, who are well known in our area for their service in World War II, and are local heroes. The Wreaths Across America program’s local chapter purchased a brick to honor Col. Bobby Miller, a local hero who served in three wars.

Memorial bricks are available to be ordered at $150 each, $250 for two, or $350 for three. Also, citizens may purchase T-shirts for $20 to show their support of the effort to create this park.

Call 985-839-3936 or email ourveteransmemorialpark@gmail.com for info, or go by 1051 Main St. in Franklinton (State Sen. Beth Mizell’s office). Interested citizens can also contact any Our Veterans Memorial Park committee member — they are Mizell, Joey Roberts, Phillipp Bedwell, Tammy Magruder, Joannie Miller or Lynette Sharp.

Local corporate sponsors for the run were Cargill, Magee Financial, Goings Realty Group and Washington-St. Tammany Electric Co-op. Robbie Brown oversaw the run and the runners, walkers and those watching all enjoyed the morning.

Supporters of the event were International Paper, Parish Councilman Carley and Ashley King, Col. Joey Strickland, Danny Stewart, Sheriff Randy Seal, Good Samaritan Nursing Home and the Knights of Columbus Father LeBlanc 2245 Council. There were also in-kind donations from State Sen. Beth Mizell and Jack Brown’s Food Store.