For 50 years veterans, active members of the military, and their family members have been going to Greenlawn Memorial Gardens in Lafayette to honor the brave men and women who never returned home.
World War II veteran, John Henton, Jr. was among those who made it back. He passed away last September. His daughter, Dorinda Florea, was on hand Monday to receive the Distinguished Veteran of the Year award.
"I was sort of surprised and I was sorta like ‘gee my dad, he was sort of an ordinary soldier,’"said Florea.
But, Florea said receiving the award was more so symbolic.
"To sort of represent all the other veterans today that were honored here, I think he sort of standing in for all the others," said Florea.
Jim Walker was standing in for half his family.
"My daughter retired from the Navy. Her husband retired from the Navy. Her two children were in the Marines," said Walker.
Memorial Day became a federal holiday in 1971. Decades after the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima, for which Jane Deville said her brother Joseph Deville was present. He made it back home. Deville said others he knew were less fortunate.
"There's so many soldiers that didn't make it back and I’m glad that they do this," said Deville.
Deville lost her brother in 2011, she said this annual event helps the grieving process.
1808 Eraste Landry Rd, PO Box 90665,
Lafayette LA 70509