Community revamps Veterans Memorial Museum’s parking lot

Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 5:05 PM CDT
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LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - Thanks to the generosity of a local business owner and motorcycle club, the Veterans Memorial Museum in Laurel now has a revamped parking lot.

“It was something that we needed, because people would park wherever they could, you know,” Larry Callahan, President of the Veterans Memorial Museum, said.

“We’ve done fundraisers to raise money to help do things like this, and it just come up to where we thought we needed to do something here local,” Mike Garris, Director of the American Legion Riders Post 11, said.

Garris said the organization initially contacted Bobby Barber of Barber Striping for a quote on re-striping the parking lot.

“I went and looked at it and after looking at it I decided to donate it in honor of our veterans, and I asked the American Legion Riders to help me get it prepped,” Barber said.

“He said he would supply everything if we would come and do the work with him,” Garris said.

Together, they re-striped the parking area and included parking spaces specifically for veterans.

“We decided that we would add three veterans parking spots, and we done the letters red, white and blue, and we also done three disabled veteran parking spots in red, white and blue, and we added two Purple Heart parking spots,” Garris said.

“It means something to the veterans, even though it’s a Veterans Memorial Museum, that they have a specific place that they can park, along with the disabled veterans too, and the Purple Heart recipients also,” Callahan said.

Both Garris and Barber are also veterans. They say it’s important to support the community and the veterans.

“I think it’s important that we keep our history alive, that our children understand the sacrifices that were made and that our citizens, you know, that we support and honor those that make such a great sacrifice so that we do enjoy the freedom we have,” Barber said.

“To me, it’s not about us. It’s about doing things for the veterans, and it was just one thing that we could do and be a part of,” Garris said.

Dixie Golf Club also assisted by helping prep the parking lot.

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