Memorial planned to honor fallen first responders in parish
MORGAN CITY, La. -- There will be a memorial on the grounds of the St. Mary Parish Courthouse for parish first responders fallen in the line of duty if a local man succeeds in his efforts to raise the funds for the memorial.
Gene Bosworth of the St. Mary Detachment 600 Marine Corps League said that Baldwin Police Chief Gerald Minor took him aside one day and asked for a favor.
For 15 years, the Marine Corps League has been honoring policemen from each of the parish law enforcement agencies for the service they perform in the community.
“Gerald told me that there was no memorial in the parish for fallen police officers and he asked if I could see if there was anything that could be done,” Bosworth said.
Bosworth said he spoke to Parish President Paul Naquin about the issue and was told the same is true of fallen firefighters.
“I decided we should also include fallen medics and make this a memorial for all the first responders — policemen, firemen and medics,” Bosworth said.
Naquin said he would recommend the parish council allow the use of the courthouse as a place to have the memorial placed. Naquin also suggested the memorial could include the names of members of the U.S. Armed Forces from the parish who have fallen in the line of duty.
“This is something that is long past due for St. Mary Parish,” Naquin said.
Keith Thibodeaux, St. Mary Parish School System assistant superintendent, talked to the principals who have art classes about being a part of the process of designing the memorial.
“I think this is a great idea. The principals are excited about getting their students involved,” Thibodeaux said. “I believe about four schools will be involved.”
Bosworth met with St. Mary Parish Chamber of Commerce President Donna Meyer and M C Bank President Larry Callais at M C Bank Wednesday morning to discuss setting up an account at the bank to begin raising funds for the memorial.
“The football has been thrown to me and I am trying to reach the goal line,” Bosworth told Callais as he explained why he was asking for assistance in determining what steps need to be taken. Callais said the bank would be happy to set up an account and to be a sponsor of the project.
Meyer said that the chamber would send out a note to its members about the project and encourage them to consider lending assistance once the account is set up and the project begins to move forward.
Pam Mayon, a bank customer service representative, explained that a non-profit charter and identification would need to be utilized.
The memorial design concept and size needs to be decided so that a price can be determined. Local sponsors might be willing to contribute a significant share of that expense once it is presented to them, Meyer said.
Bosworth said that once those details have been accomplished he would return to the bank to set up an account where contributions from individuals and companies can be made.