‘Wreaths Across America’ brings message of patriotism to Plaquemine

Staff Report

The mission “Remember, Honor, Teach” was the message for an event that drew area residents to Veterans Plaza in front of the Iberville Parish Courthouse on Sunday.

“Wreaths Across America” made a stop in Plaquemine with its Mobile Education Exhibit that started its tour in Maine.

Jean Hebert and Brenda Babin, flag co-chairs for the Daughters of the American Revolution, John James Audubon chapter, presents an American flag to Parish President Mitchell Ourso as a token of appreciation for his efforts to honor U.S. military veterans. They also presented him a certificate of appreciation.

The event, co-sponsored by Iberville Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso, Jr. and the Iberville Parish Council, and the John James Audubon Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution, was aimed to bring the community together and teach patriotism while remembering the service and sacrifice of our national war heroes.

It also featured salutes to area veterans and active-duty military. The  MEE also featured interactive exhibits, short films and shared stories to educate visitors on the sacrifices of our nation’s heroes, and provide an official “welcome home” station for our nation’s Vietnam veterans.

“This honors our fallen veterans, honor those who served and most importantly, teach the value of freedom,” Ourso said. “When you look across the worked in Ukraine and Russia, we’re so fortunate to be blessed and free with what we have here. With the future generation of our children – Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and so on – hopefully they can see what it takes to keep this country safe and free for years and years to come.”

Virginia Grace Benoit, the regent for the John James Audubon Society chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, said the event will lead to another event locally.

DAR was able to get St. John Cemetery approved for “Wreaths Across America,” and there will be a wreath ceremony and actual wreath-laying on Dec. 17.

“They’re hoping to get approval for other cemeteries as well,” Benoit said.

“Wreaths Across America also organizes international veteran tributes and ceremonies at state houses, which are held at the State Capitol a week before the wreath-laying.

It was also a way to honor Vietnam war veterans who were long overdue for the welcome home, she said.

“We watched it on TV, we questioned it and protested – and all the while, we made the sign of peace,” Benoit said.