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Battle brewing over veterans memorial in Bienville Parish - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Battle brewing over veterans memorial in Bienville Parish

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A veterans memorial was relocated from downtown Arcadia to the new Bienville Parish Courthouse. A veterans memorial was relocated from downtown Arcadia to the new Bienville Parish Courthouse.
ARCADIA, La. -

For the past 14 years, the veterans memorial wall has called the area across from town hall in historic downtown Arcadia home.

"It was quite upsetting to find out that our memorial wall in beautiful downtown Arcadia was missing."

On October 25th, the granite monument was moved to the brand new Bienville Parish Courthouse.

The Bienville Parish Chamber of Commerce, formerly the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce, sold $25 plaques with the names of both living and deceased veterans to fund the memorial in 1999.

901 names are now affixed to the walls.

Arcadia resident Wayne Dring is one of those names.

"Why did the Police Jury think that they had the authority to move it out of the historical area of downtown Arcadia," wonders Dring.

And Arcadia Mayor Eugene Smith says it never should have been moved because it's town property.

He says he was never notified of the plans to move the memorial.

"You might should have gotten a legal opinion before you moved it."

That was Smith's advice to the Chamber of Commerce, who, in a letter to the mayor, maintains the Chamber owns the memorial, and therefore has a right to move it.

But Smith says the issue is about more than what a few town officials may want.

"It's for the people. It's not necessarily for one or two people or for one civic organization. It's for everybody."

Attempts to contact the President of the Bienville Parish Chamber of Commerce were unsuccessful.

The Chamber's attorney responded with 'no comment.'

Smith says if the memorial isn't returned to its original location by Wednesday morning, the town of Arcadia will take legal action.

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