BATON ROUGE –  You are cordially invited to attend the Louisiana Gold Star Families Memorial Monument dedication ceremony being held at the Louisiana Veterans Memorial Park, adjacent to the State Capitol, at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30.

“Given the great sacrifices that these families and their loved ones have made to protect our state and our nation it is only fitting that we honor them in a way that shows the deep gratitude and respect we have for them,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “This monument makes clear Louisiana’s unwavering support for our state’s Gold Star Families and having it at our State Capitol ensures that those who visit from near and far will also recognize the contributions they have made to secure the many blessings we enjoy every day.”

The purpose of the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument is to honor Gold Star Families, preserve the memory of the fallen, and stand as a stark reminder that freedom is not free. The Louisiana memorial will be the first of its kind in the nation to be placed on state capitol grounds.

“Louisiana is leading the charge by placing a Gold Star Families Memorial Monument on state capitol grounds,” says Woody Williams with the Medal of Honor Foundation. “This is so important because this monument will honor the sacrifice of all of the state’s Gold Star Families and the ultimate sacrifice made by their loved ones.”

The Louisiana Veterans Memorial Park will serve as the backdrop for this stunning black granite monument that serves as a tribute to Gold Star Families and relatives, and features a cut out representation of their loved ones who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom.

The park is the first on state property to recognize the hundreds of thousands of Louisianans who have served, been wounded, or killed in action while serving in the United States Military. The Louisiana Gold Star Families Honoring Committee felt this was a fitting location to place this memorial for all state residents and Capitol visitors to see, and be reminded of the sacrifices made by our Louisiana service men and women.

Hundreds of people from around the state are expected to attend this dedication ceremony, including Gold Star families, Veterans, service men and women from across generations and branches of service, school groups, and several veteran service organizations (VSO’s).

“We encourage all Louisianan’s to be a part of this dedication ceremony,” says Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Joey Strickland. “We will be gathering on Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day to honor both the memories of the men and women who have given their lives in service to our country, and to care for the families who still miss them dearly.”

The ceremony will include remarks by Gov. John Bel Edwards, Hershel Woody Williams from the Medal of Honor Foundation, performances by the 156th United States Army Band from Bossier City, tribute wreath placements by various VSO’s, and the official unveiling of the new Louisiana Gold Star Families Memorial.