Veterans honored, thanked
The selfless service of military veterans was honored in a ceremony at VFW Post 8971 Friday — Veterans Day.
Eunice City Judge Terry Hoychick said those who served didn’t care what he believed but did so in the name of freedom.
Donald Estillette, VFW chaplain, opened the program with a similar thought.
“Isn’t it good to be free? Isn’t it good to be free! Thank a veteran for that,” he said.
Hoychick said he woke up watching news about post-election protests.
“We are here in Eunice and we are blessed to have such a wonderful city. I believe in God. I believe in Jesus Christ as my savior. I believe in the right to vote and I go to vote. But you know the guys that went and fought... they didn’t know what I believed,” he said.
The veterans’ service created freedom for Americans regardless of their own beliefs and actions.
“We owe you a huge debt of gratitude,” he said to a crowd of 250 to 300 people who had gathered for the ceremony at 11 a.m. Friday.
The 11 a.m. start time is significant because it represents the start of the World War I armistice which begin at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11 month in 1918.
State Rep. Phillip DeVillier spoke about the history and noted Veterans Day didn’t started until 1954.
After World War I it was an observance to honor the veterans of that war, he said. In 1938, Nov. 11 became a legal holiday and in 1954 it grew into a day to honor all veterans.
Let today be a reminder of men and women who worked side by side to accomplish a common goal,” he said.
Eunice Mayor Scott Fontenot noted to veterans, “You are the reason why I had the opportunity to even be in this position.”
Maj. Eddie Thibodeaux, of the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office, thanked the veterans and their families. He recognized their undying love of country and willingness to fight for freedoms.
Bill Wimberly, American Legion Post 129 commander, said Friday’s attendance by veterans was among the largest ever for the ceremony.
“We’ve so many more veterans come and state their claim of service,” he said
“It was a fantastic sight to see. It is very humbling to see this many veterans out here...” he said.
There were many younger veterans who took part in the ceremony, he said.
“We had a good group of young veterans coming in. Much too often people look at our associations and it is a lot of the older generations,” Wimberly said.
Veterans and others salute the flag during the Veterans Day ceremony Friday at VFW Post 8971 in Eunice. (Photos by Harlan Kirgan)
McCain Weaver keeps his flag flying high.