Buy-a-Brick program to honor veterans to resume

Published 12:14 am Tuesday, May 19, 2015

NATCHEZ — The Miss-Lou is overflowing with heroes who will soon be recognized.

The Natchez Board of Aldermen unanimously voted Tuesday to resume the Buy-a-Brick program, sponsored by Home With Heroes.

Through the program, residents can purchase a commemorate brick honoring a veteran. Bricks will be installed in the Memorial Park sidewalk.

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Funds generated through the program will go back to Home With Heroes, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping veterans and their families.

“Our veterans deserve this recognition,” said Mark LaFrancis, president of Home With Heroes.

Natchez Mayor Butch Brown said he was in full support of the program, granted the bricks stay consistent with the aesthetics of Memorial Park.

Also, Brown suggested Home With Heroes members meet with the public works department to make sure specific codes and regulations are met.

“We would want the same kind of bricks from the same source so it would match, and be consistent with what is there,” said Brown, adding he hopes the program makes headway before the tricentennial year.

No set cost has been determined yet for the bricks.

During Tuesday’s meeting, LaFrancis also requested support from the board for a study that would explore the possibility of bringing a veteran’s museum and resource center to the Miss-Lou area.

“This region has a proud tradition of providing men and women to serve in our armed forces,” LaFrancis said. “Their contributions, however, have been largely unnoticed by our own population and visitors.”

The proposed center, LaFrancis said, would showcase an array of war artifacts and host special functions for area veterans and learning opportunities for the community.

LaFrancis said he is also hoping to launch a special committee that would spearhead the proposed resource center.

“We sincerely appreciate all that the City of Natchez and the board of aldermen have done to support veterans programs and causes,” LaFrancis said. “But it is time to do even more. I’m asking for a spirit of support.”

The board unanimously voted to support a study for the center, which currently has no tentative cost or location.