ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY) — With Wednesday marking the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, St. Landry Parish is honoring the brave souls who served their country.

Representatives from St. Landry Parish and area veterans gathered at the Veterans’ Memorial to commemorate the anniversary.

The event included musical performances from a choir, prayers for the veterans, and a token of appreciation from the state capitol.

Vietnam veterans such as Gene Sam and Kermit Thomas said events like this remind them of the pride they have for their country and fellow service men and women.

“If you get selected to serve your country it’s a wonderful thing,” Thomas said.

“I got injured while I was jumping out of planes in the service,” Sam said. “The very first time I got in a plane I jumped out, that wasn’t too much of a good feeling.”

“I’m so glad that someone recognized us as we fought for our country,” Thomas said.

The memorial also gives a chance for younger residents such as Mason Ducet a chance to remember relatives like his great grandfather that have passed away in the years since the war.

“I visited here since I’m a huge fan of the Vietnam war, and here is one of the veterans from the Vietnam war, his name is Tommy A. Norman. He got one of the purple hearts,” Ducet said.

Residents and veterans alike hope the entire country will continue to talk about the Vietnam war and keep the memory of all those who served alive.