Veteran's Cemetery planned for Richland Parish - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Veteran's Cemetery planned for Richland Parish

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RICHLAND PARISH La. (KNOE 8 News) - Farmland in Richland Parish may become a cemetery for veterans and fallen soldiers.

On Monday, KNOE spoke with a family who donated the land, about the legacy they hope to leave behind.

Now a farm field off of Highway 425, will soon be a cemetery.

A plan years in the making, Fred Franklin of Rayville said he remembers the call that started it all.

"I got a call from my dad that said ‘Fred We're giving 50 or 60 acres for a cemetery," said Franklin.

Franklin said his dad, George, always talked about things with him, but not that time. 

The elder Franklin didn't hesitate to act when he heard the area needed help with a veteran's cemetery.

"Sonny Fitzgerald is a veteran and he was on KNOE one night and broadcast that surely there would be somebody that would donate land for a veteran cemetery for Northeast Louisiana," said Franklin.

Franklin and Fitzgerald are both veterans.

"He and Sonny worked for a long time to try to make this happen. Mr. Sonny is a fine guy. He is in the Monroe Veterans Hospital right now and my dad is deceased but this is something he wanted to see happen," said Franklin.

Franklin wants to carry on his father's legacy.

Franklin, Fitzgerald and local Louisiana delegates have been working with the federal government for nearly a decade to get this cemetery approved.

"Soon as we finish up the last few reports and then the money will come forward we could capitalize about $10 million for this area from the state," said Senator Francis Thompson, (D), Delhi.

Senator Francis Thompson said the state already appropriated the money for the cemetery, and they're just waiting for a federal grant.

We should know about the federal grant in October.

The cemetery would create about 15 new jobs.

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