Bricks still available at memorial
Published 7:00 am Friday, May 29, 2015
The Brick by Brick Memorial that stands in front of City Hall in Picayune is an important landmark in the community.
The idea to construct a veterans memorial was initiated in 1987, in the mind of Jane Smoot who was a member of the Career Womens’ Club, said Fleming.
In 1989, Smoot’s idea began to be taken seriously. Smoot was named chairperson of the memorial project, and began seeking funding, said Fleming.
In October 1989, Smoot contacted James Fleming, who at the time was president of the Greater Picayune Area Inc. It was Fleming who had the idea to construct the memorial in front of City Hall. The Greater Picayune Area Inc. agreed to pay $15,000 towards the project if Smoot could come up with the same amount by December, said Fleming.
The Brick by Brick Committee, as it came to be known, came up with the idea to sell bricks to families of veterans for $50 apiece to finance the project. The committee was made up of Smoot, Mildred Dossett, James Fleming, Charles Jones, Lourie Formby, Diane Lee, Ted LaMunyon, Brenda Macalusa, Jane Powe, Bobby Rushing and Sheryl Smith, said Fleming.
There were 4,200 bricks laid for the memorial, and initially the committee sold more than 3,000. The committee raised around $150,000 from the sale of the bricks. Construction on the memorial began in 1990, and took one year to complete.
Fleming said the memorial was strictly a community funded project. The committee lasted as long as it took to construct the memorial, and then everything was turned over to the city.
“We wanted to give people the opportunity to honor their veterans, that’s what it was about,” said Fleming.
The memorial is not just for veterans of Pearl River County. Fleming said it is open to any veteran.
“It is for anyone that has served, we have a number of bricks over there for people that have never even been to Mississippi,” said Fleming.
Bricks are still available to purchase for $50. Anyone interested in purchasing a brick should contact Diane Miller, planning and zoning director, at (601) 798-9777.