Monday, July 8, 2019
St. John the Baptist Parish - President Robottom and her Administrative staff, Parish Council Members, Local, State and Federal Elected Officials, and special guests joined over 450 veterans and their spouses at the 14th Annual Veterans Luncheon held at REGALA Gym in Reserve. The annual event paid homage to veterans and service members in uniform with a video tribute during the luncheon. The colors were presented by Sheriff Tregre’s Honor Guard.
Brigadier General Robert Crear, Army Retired served as the guest speaker. General Crear commanded and led soldiers and civilians at every level, while serving in high level leadership positions with the US Army Corps of Engineers. Among his numerous military awards and decorations, Crear has received the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Pentagon Staff Identification Badge and Parachutist Badge. During his speech, he spoke of his unique experiences as General and urged everyone to never forget why we celebrate the Fourth of July. “We reflect today on the endowment given to our nation and world by our founding fathers and pause to remember the generous effort and sacrifice by those who have served and those will serve for generations to come,” said Crear. He added, “American soldiers will always answer the call... and for that we say thank you!”
Mr. Cleveland Clement of the Southeast Louisiana War Veterans Home shared a story about his childhood experience with segregated movie theaters that has stayed with him to this day. He expressed gratitude that those instances no longer occur. Entertainment was provided by (band) and the Victory Bells from the World War II Museum and a host of volunteers assisted the veterans and helped to serve the meal.
Later that evening, thousands of residents gathered on the grounds of St. Peter’s Church and the St. John the Baptist Church in Edgard to celebrate the holiday with food, fun and music. The event was filmed on the East and West banks of the parish and broadcasted live on the Government Access Channel and the Parish website.
Festivities included raising the U.S. flag, a balloon release, children’s activities and games, food, and music. Performances by local acts, interviews with Parish Officials, theatre members, Festival Queens, and community leaders were conducted throughout the evening on both sides of the river.
To conclude the event, St. John residents and visitors were treated to a spectacular firework show and music at 9:00 p.m. “I would like to thank all of my staff, our sponsors and volunteers who made both of our events successful as they require a great deal of coordination and planning,” said President Robottom. “This is my last year as Parish President and although it is bittersweet, it has been a true honor to serve my home parish and home to many military veterans. You are appreciated and you will always have a home here in St. John the Baptist Parish.“