BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A new monument at the State Capitol will honor African American veterans from Louisiana and the contributions made to protect our state and nation.

Governor John Bel Edwards said this will be the first monument of its kind in the State Capitol Complex. He said the project has been a labor of love for all involved and hopes it will serve as a piece of history for anyone touring the area. 

“It is not lost on me that so many African American women felt the call to serve their country even when their country wasn’t serving them with the equality and dignity that they deserved,” said Edwards.

From those who served in the Civil War to the Siege of Port Hudson to Operation Enduring Freedom, the monument will recognize those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

“African Americans, since the Revolutionary War, have written their stories in blood for the freedom of this country and it is only fitting that we honor them with this monument here in our beautiful park,” said Secretary Col. Joey Strickland.

Edwards signed Act 432 into law during the 2021 regular legislative session. It called for the establishment of a monument honoring African Americans who have served. The governor said the gesture is long overdue. 

“That is a special kind of patriotism. You know, in the military we talked about going above and beyond the call of duty, that’s what that is,” said Edwards.

“Let us build on this day as a monument to correct the past as we continue to correct the future,” said Congressman Troy Carter.

The monument will depict generations of brave soldiers, men, and women as well as the loved ones who supported them. The project is expected to be completed by the summer of 2023.