To the citizens of Iberville Parish:

It has come to my attention that an ANONYMOUS individual has questioned the expenditure of public funds for the installation of the large American Flag at the Iberville/Ochsner Medical Clinic located in Plaquemine, Louisiana. I certainly recognize the First Amendment right of a citizen to inquire about public projects and such always serves as checks and balances on governmental action. Thank you to the individual who sent the anonymous email message to the news media. Iberville Parish citizens have now shown more than every their support for American Patriotism and our Veterans.

I am truly blessed to live in Iberville Parish, a place that loves and supports its VETERANS with all of its heart and soul. On Friday, August 9, 2019, as the large American Flag was raised by our military troops, I was astounded to hear the wonderful comments about Iberville’s patriotism and to see the spectators wiping tears from their eyes in awe of this great American symbol as it waved in the wind. The price of American Patriotism has no monetary value and Iberville Parish is filled with American Patriotism.

I challenge the ANONYMOUS individual to go to the Iberville Parish Courthouse and see the plaques on the first floor wall and read the names of Iberville Parish soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our FREEDOMS. We will be forever indebted to these brave soldiers. Iberville Parish is proud to have three American Legion Charters, White Castle, Plaquemine, and St. Gabriel. Our American Legions have sponsored numerous community events and outstanding baseball programs for our youth. The live oak trees surrounding Post No. 167 in Plaquemine are dedicated to those soldiers who lost their lives during World War II. Next time you pass by the American Legion in Plaquemine, pull in the parking lot area and just think about what these trees signify.

Several years ago, I was approached by a group of local Veterans asking if the Parish could assist them is establishing the "West Side Honor Guard." The Iberville Parish Council supported the request and the families of our deceased Veterans can now have military honors at the funeral service of their loved ones. The playing of "taps" on trumpet and firing of the rifles is so meaningful to the Veteran's loved ones. We appreciate our Veterans committing their time to honor their deceased comrades. The military funeral honors that our local Veterans provide can never be measured in dollars and cents. It can only be measured in love and Patriotism for our America!

Iberville Parish has been a supporter of our local National Guard unit in Plaquemine over the past twenty-two years, and each year the Parish Council appropriates funding to assist our local National Guard unit. These guardsmen are always willing to assist the Parish, especially during times of emergencies such as hurricanes and flooding events. I love to drive past the Plaquemine National Guard Unit and see the large Bald Eagle statute in front of the building. Our Parish soars high just like the Bald Eagle when it comes to American Pride and Patriotism.

The Iberville Parish Veteran's Memorial is the best in my opinion. This monument is dedicated to all branches of OUR military service and its unique design and features provides the visitors a great appreciation for our Iberville Parish Veterans. Each Veteran's Day the Parish hosts a Veteran's Day Ceremony at the memorial with hundreds of our citizens attending the event. This event continues to grow each year and the importance of "Veterans Day" will never be forgotten in Iberville Parish. The "Wall of Veterans" is a great way for our citizens to honor their loved ones who have served or is currently serving in any of our military branches. I encourage all of our residents to send in photos of their beloved Veterans to post on the "Wall of Veterans" to ensure all Iberville Veterans are recognized for their service and sacrifice to our Country.

In case anybody has not realized this, IBERVILLE PARISH loves the red, white and blue called "Old Glory" and we love our VETERANS and active duty military personnel. All too often, the news media focuses on those who choose not to respect "Old Glory," but our flag raising ceremony last week shows just how much our Parish supports "AMERICAN PATRIOTISM," and Iberville Parish will always be committed to supporting AMERICA and its Armed Forces. So many forget how our military has fought for our freedoms and to be able to show our thankfulness by displaying a huge American Flag is only a small token of Iberville Parish's appreciation for our Veterans and our Country.

Thank you for supporting AMERICA and our VETERANS.

Sincerely,

J. Mitchell Ourso, Jr.

Parish President