e have had the honor of partnering with Louis Ferris as he has put together multiple veteran memorials in Veteran’s Freedom Park over the past few years. The latest memorial we were asked to join in on was the World War II Memorial. Not only did we get the joy of building this memorial, but we also were able to attend the unveiling of it. At this ceremony many were able to thank WWII veterans for their service, thank many other veterans for their sacrifices, thank Louis Ferris for all his efforts to ensure veterans are honored here in La Crosse, and to thank all who helped make Veteran’s Freedom Park possible.
“When you put one of these things together you always need a lot of help. I always pick someone who is a La Crosse contractor, has had somebody in the service, and has a love for La Crosse… and those people are La Crosse Sign Group. Paul, the owner, his father was in the Korean War for example, and he now has a son-in-law who is in the air force. ” -Louis Ferris
“While those stories are fading, and those relationships are fading, the memorial will stay here and we will never forget. This community owes so much of that to Louie Ferris right here.” -Mitch Reynolds, La Crosse Mayor
"In a little while this ceremony will be over, and we’ll go back to worrying if our Wi-Fi works and what’s on Netflix. I get it, It’s OK. They fought their war so we could go live our lives without judgment, but maybe, just maybe tonight, between the news and bed you could take a minute, reflect on what those young men did. Maybe, you could throw them a silent thank you, and maybe ask God to hold them just a little bit closer." -Rick Hauser, U.S. Navy Veteran
“He’s always been the go-to guy, if there was something you needed to be done, you called Louie. And that was true for this memorial as well, we all wouldn’t be sitting here today, celebrating this achievement but also remembering our veterans and these causes that they were willing to sacrifice so much for us.” - Rob Kind, U.S. Representative
"From a father of young children that continues to struggle to pass on the legacy from family members that have gone through the struggles associated with these wars, having a physical location here in the community that we live in, that we can bring our children to and they can tie in to that physical place, is really something very fortunate for us, for parents. But mainly for kids. This is what will allow them to hopefully pass that along down the line.” - Jay Odegaard, Parks Director
Louis Ferris is an incredibly selfless man who has dedicated his life to serving this community, and as he has said "I’d do anything for veterans." Louis is 91 years old and currently battling stage 4 cancer, yet when asked to take on this project, his answer was yet again that he would do anything for veterans. He, with the loving support of the La Crosse Community, put this entire memorial and ceremony together in just two and a half months, now that is dedication and passion.
“I just feel very lucky to be able to do what I did. Like I said: If you build it, they will come. Well, you came.” -Louis Ferris
For the full news article from the La Crosse Tribune please visit WATCH NOW: Community comes together to welcome new WWII veteran's memorial in La Crosse | Local News | lacrossetribune.com