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LSU Law students, members of Veterans Advocacy Club help dedicate Gold Star Families monument

Five people pose for a photo next to a black monument

From left, LSU Law students Cory Redditt, Aaron Lawrence, Bret Shallenberger, and Christopher Lamy pose in front of the Louisiana Gold Star Families Memorial Monument near the State Capitol on Sept. 30.

LSU Law students and members of the Veterans Advocacy Club volunteered to help put on the dedication ceremony for the Louisiana Gold Star Families monument at the State Capitol on Sept. 30.

Second-year students Christopher Lamy, Bret Shallenberger, and Cory Redditt and 3L Aaron Lawrence helped usher disabled veterans and their families from the parking lot to the dedication ceremony for the Louisiana Gold Star Families Memorial Monument. According to LDVA Secretary Joey Strickland, the purpose of the monument is to honor Gold Star Families, preserve the memory of the fallen, and stand as a stark reminder that freedom is not free. The black granite memorial is the first monument to honor Gold Star families on any state capitol grounds.

“This monument makes clear Louisiana’s unwavering support for our state’s Gold Star Families and having it at our State Capitol ensures that those who visit from near and far will also recognize the contributions they have made to secure the many blessings we enjoy every day,” Louisiana Governor and 1999 LSU Law graduate John Bel Edwards said at the ceremony.

Shallenberger said the students and group decided to volunteer at the ceremony as a way “to honor the sacrifices made by those who served and families.”

In addition to the students from the Law Center, undergraduate veterans from Student Veterans and graduate students from both the psychology and engineering departments were in attendance.

Gold Star families are immediate relatives of members of the U.S. Armed Forces who have been killed in combat or in support of certain military activities. The U.S. Department of Defense issues Gold Star Lapel Buttons to immediate family members of a fallen member of the military. The pins, featuring a gold star on a purple circular background, are worn by spouses, parents and children of service members killed in the line of duty.