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In the news AND BEYOND

Most at meeting oppose name change but Camp Beauregard will get new name in 2023

Melinda Martinez

Alexandria Town Talk


This meeting was held to gather more names from the public in addition to the ones gathered in an online survey held in May.

"The South lost the war. We should have never named these bases after Southern generals or officers," said Cornelius White Jr., a former military police officer who was stationed here. He thinks they should have been named after white or Black troops who served in the Union Army.

Some oppose making the move at all.

"I think it needs to stay the same. Why change it?," said Carol Ann Thompson of Alexandria.

"All it's going to do is cost money."

"It's all I've known all my days," said Len Wiggins of Dry Prong, a retired Louisiana National Guard supply sergeant who was with the 199th Support Battalion. He also expressed concerns about the expense of a name change and said history shouldn't be taken away.

Some thought that if the name had to be changed, it should be to a name with ties to Central Louisiana.


A 15-year-old decided his town needed a veterans memorial. He raised $77,000 and built one



17-year-old Dominique Claseman was 15 when he started raising money to build Olivia, Minnesota a veterans memorial

Author: Boyd Huppert; July 4, 2022

OLIVIA, Minn. — When a 15-year-old boy came to the Olivia City Council with plans to build his hometown a veterans memorial, Mayor Jon Hawkinson wondered if the lad had bitten off more than he could chew.

Yet, there was something about Dominique Claseman.

“He had architect drawings, he had the space picked out,” the mayor recalls.

And perhaps most importantly, “He knew there would be people in our community who would want to donate to something like this,” the mayor recalls.

Today, no skeptics remain.

On Memorial Day, several hundred people gathered for the dedication of Olivia’s new veterans memorial, completed by Dominique as his Eagle Scout project a few weeks before his 17th birthday.  

Ron Kopacek, who headed up the dedication’s honor guard, was amazed as anyone that Dominique pulled it off. “Fifteen years old, a sophomore in high school, he's going to raise $12,000 to $15,000 we're thinking, ‘What? Really?’”

Turns out Dominque didn't just raise his starting goal of $12,000 to $15,000.

He collected more than $77,000.

“I question myself on how I even did it sometimes,” Dominque says with a smile.

Dominique hung flyers in businesses, did interviews with the local newspaper and radio station, and set up a table to pitch his project during events at the Olivia American Legion.

As purchases of engraved pavers and other donations exceeded Dominique’s expectations, he expanded his vision of what the memorial could be.

“I wanted to show more appreciation in a bigger way,” says Dominique, who comes from a long line of men who served their country. Among them: Dominique’s father, who wore his Iraq combat boots, at Dominique’s request, to leave 21 footprints in the memorial’s wet cement.

Mark Jurgensen, who serves as a Boy Scout scoutmaster, isn’t surprised his son saw the project through to its grand conclusion. 

“He’s one of them kind of kids that likes to make sure that he doesn’t disappoint anybody, and he strives really hard for that,” Mark says. 

On dedication day, a stream of people walked through the memorial, reading the 280 pavers engraved with the names of men and women with Olivia ties who served in the military, some who gave their lives for their country.


Economic impact

Initial research focused on nine states where most Civil War tourism is concentrated: Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.  

In five states—Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia—15 National Park Service-affiliated Civil War battlefields and historic sites attracted 

 15.8 million visitors

That spending supported: 
$151 million in income for local workers and business owners; 
5,150 local jobs; and  
$248 million in value added to the local economy  

Who spent nearly $442 million in communities close to those parks. 

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Monumental Task Committee

The MTC is a predominantly volunteer-run monument preservation organization that was founded in New Orleans in 1989. Our mission is to restore, repair and forever maintain all of the monuments located in the city. Members of our Board of Directors come from diverse professional and educational backgrounds, contributing decades of experience to our preservation efforts. As we move into our third decade of service we are excited about the possibilities that we can achieve with the help of our collaborators and supporters.

Save NOLA Heritage

Help us amend Section 9 of the New Orleans City Charter to prevent Mayors & City Council Members from removing Priceless Art without a Published Plan..... Removed art should be returned to the original organizations that donated them.... Per the charter, art should be used to educate. For example in 1856, Robert E. Lee wrote: "Slavery is a Moral and Political Evil." In 2017 Congress approved $500 Million to address Modern Day Slavery.

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