Local Veterans honored at Veterans Memorial in front of Historic City Hall

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, November 1, 2017

For those who wish to honor a loved one who has served or is currently serving in the armed forces for Veterans Day, the city of Picayune is still selling engraved bricks that will be placed in the city’s Veteran’s Memorial.

“The cost is $50 per brick,” Deputy City Clerk Leann Smith said. “You can either place ‘in memory of’ or ‘in honor of’ on the brick and everyone can buy a brick, regardless of the armed services branch.”

The Veterans Memorial is located in front of the historic side of City Hall on Goodyear Boulevard.

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According to city records, the idea of a Veterans Memorial in the city of Picayune began with Jane B. Smoot, president of the Career’s Women Club, who is a native of Hiawassee, Georgia and wanted a monument in Picayune just like the one in her hometown.

James Fleming, a native of Picayune, also envisioned a Memorial and discussed the idea with City Hall and once it got approved, the brick-by-brick committee was formed, the records state.

In order to raise money to establish the monument, the committee held fundraisers such as bake sales, garage sales, bingo nights and others. By the end of those efforts, the committee raised over $15,000 to fund construction of the monument.

With many different designs on hand, the committee decided on a gray granite, 22-foot obelisk because the material would last a lifetime, the records state. The first brick was laid on May 19, 1990 and the monument was completed a year later. Today, flowers line the edges of the monument and hundreds of engraved bricks surround it.

“It’s a great tribute to our veterans in the community,” City Manager Jim Luke said. “They have sacrificed so much for our country and community.”