Despite what seems like a non-stop rain over the past several days there was something unique that has dotted the skies above the rain soaked streets of LaFayette and that is a symbol that sends a tribute to those in the local community whom have offered the ultimate act of valor and service to defend the way of life that is present today thanks to the self-sacrifices of what is estimated to represent less than 1% of the population of this nation. That one percent are those who run into harm’s way and join the nation’s armed forces.
On Wednesday LaFayette will join the rest of the nation in honoring those who honor us all with their service. While Wednesday will be observed as Veterans Day, there is a small but noticeable symbolic salute that has risen over much of LaFayette. This symbolic salute is visible on many streets including the entire course of U.S. Highway 431 through the city and the downtown area near the courthouse square. They are American flags which are enduring the elements and flying in their full glory above the streets of LaFayette to remind the community of those who reside in this city and have served in the nations armed forces.
The city of LaFayette has strong roots with the military this includes the countless number of local citizens whom have served in the armed forces who are now classified as veterans and those who call LaFayette home and honor their families locally as they put on the uniform each day at different duty stations throughout the world to protect the freedoms that are held dear in the United States. The flags that fly over LaFayette are meant to honor those men and women.
Uniquely as the local community flies the Flags over the courthouse square the community observes a statue of one of Chambers County’s and LaFayette’s most famous veterans and that is Joseph Louis Barrow more commonly known as Joe Louis. A giant statue sits outside of the Chambers County Courthouse that honors the world famous boxer in the shadows of many of the flags that embrace the skies over LaFayette. Louis was born on the outskirts of LaFayette, but in 1941 when the United States entered World War II, Louis enlisted and served in the United States Army. His efforts in the army included the famous boxers fighting more than 90 exhibition matches before 2 million fellow troops and massive donations to relief efforts by the Army and Navy. Before ending his military career Louis obtained the rank of Sergeant and upon his death in 1981 the famous LaFayette veteran was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full honors.
So as many will get a day off from work and school on Wednesday it is important to remember the sacrifices and service that so many not just nationally, but locally have put forth in the defending of the United States and the way of life which so many take for granted. LaFayette is full of veterans and those who serve actively to this day and the day is meant for their remembrance and honoring. The flags that local officials have put up are only a small way of saluting the nation’s real heroes.