KAREN LAGRANGE COX
The City of Youngsville had a groundbreaking ceremony for the Veterans Memorial Gateway Park on Milton Avenue this morning. On hand for the groundbreaking were members of the Broussard-Larriviere-Trahan VFW Post 9210 in Youngsville.
When addressing the crowd, Youngsville Mayor Ken Ritter said the land for this project was donated by Louis Anzalone. The land was once owned by Joan Vanacore who lived there for twenty-four years.
The city is using this donated land for a drainage pond and for a park to honor our veterans. It will also help provide a quality of life along with a sense of pride for the city’s residents. The park will also include walking tracks for the walking enthusiasts.
The drainage pond will have the capacity to store 4,500 cubic feet of water. This will help to improve drainage for Anselm Coulee which drains into the Vermilion River.
Phil Gallet, Quartermaster for VFW Post 9210, advised the Prisoners of War (POW) flag flies under the American Flag. Gallet said there are still 58,000 missing in action (MIA) still unaccounted for which our government is working on trying to located to bring them home. Gallet also stated this year is the 75th anniversary of their post and it is one-hundred years for the VFW.
The VFW post also hops to get the Acadiana Veterans Alliance involved in this project.
Lafayette City Parish President Josh Guillory, a veteran himself, spoke to the crowd, commending the project. Guillory said this is a wonderful accomplishment for Youngsville. Guillory was a member of the United States Army both as active military and national guard. He served from 2001-2009 and served a tour in Bagdad, Iraq.
For the ceremony, Youngsville Mayor Ken Ritter welcomed all in attendance. The Veterans of Foreign Ware (WFW) Post 9210 presented their color guard. Pastor Joe Cormier of First Assembly Baptist Church gave the invocation. Ritter recognized members the VFW Post 9210 who were in attendance – Chick Bourque, Post Commander, Phil Gallet, Quartermaster, Tommy Miller, John Devault, Jim Ethington, Stephen Babineaux and Ron Rayler. Singing the national anthem was Sam Theriot, a student at Southside High School.
Ritter acknowledged Chief Administrative Officer Sally Angers, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer/Public Works Director Terry Bourque, City Councilwoman Division A Kayla Menard Reaux, City Councilman District B Lindy Bolgiano, City Councilman District C Matt Romero, Mayor Pro-Tempore / Councilman Division D Ken Stansbury, City Councilwoman Shannon Bares Division E, Pam Granger with McBade Engineers and Consultants and Daniel Baker with Constructions Solutions.