Salute to veterans

Veterans salute as they hear their military branch anthems played during the Blue Star Marker Memorial Service held at Patterson City Hall Friday. From left, Lawrence Johnson, Army, Woodrow Carlin, Army, John Benge, Navy, and Bobbie Grimball, Navy. (Photos by Courtney Darce)

Alan Pellerin, a veteran of the U.S. Marines Corps and member of the Marine Corps League, holds his hand over his heart Friday morning for the Pledge of Allegiance during the Blue Star Marker Memorial Service held at Patterson City Hall.

The Patterson Junior High School band, conducted by Merita Theriot, plays “Freedom Finale” for guests Friday at Patterson City Hall during the annual Blue Star Marker Memorial Service. The event was hosted by the Patterson Garden Club and the City of Patterson.

From left, Horace A. Pete Jr., who served 21 years in the Marine Corps; John Benge, a Navy veteran of 3 years; Sherman Whiting, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4222 District III commander; and Lawrence Johnson, an Army veteran of 3 years, bring forward a floral wreath in honor of their fallen brothers-in-arms. The wreath was presented Friday at Patterson City Hall during the city’s Blue Star Marker Memorial Service ceremony.


The notes of Taps wafted into wind currents ridden by an eagle over Patterson’s Blue Star Marker Memorial Service at City Hall Friday.
Students from the Patterson Junior High School band played the national anthem and a medley of hymns called “Marches of the Armed Forces.” Taps was performed by a lone trumpet player as veterans in attendance stood at attention, paying respect to their brothers-in-arms who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Veteran Alan Pellerin, who served in the Marines for four years, held the American flag steady as it was buffeted by strong winds in its stand.
Alexis Barras, a junior at Patterson High School, read an essay written for Gidget Everitt’s history class explaining why she believes America still is the greatest country.
A floral wreath was presented by representatives of American Legion Post 242, American Legion Post 589, Veterans of Foreign Wars Oil Center Post 4222 and Marine Corps League St. Mary Parish Detachment 600.
Mayor Rodney Grogan welcomed those in attendance to the ceremony.
“This (is a) day celebrating all who have served in all branches that we have the right to what we’re doing here today that we may have the freedoms that we have. I thank all of you. This is your municipality that came about because of World War I and those that fought. On behalf of the mayor and council of the City of Patterson … we thank all of our military … Everything that we have a right to is because of you, under God,” Grogan said.
The event was sponsored by the Patterson Garden Club.

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