Left to right: Mayor of OS Shea Dodson, Past Commander Tom Adams, Post 42 Commander Brenda Smith, Public Works Director John Russel, and Post 42 Historian Richard Eckert Sr., Pershing Square Project Chairman


Post 42 (Ocean Springs, Miss.) displays U.S. World War One Centennial Award

Ocean Springs, MS

Pershing Square in Ocean Springs consists of 360 veteran honor memorial bricks, now completed, for those who served in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East wars. Each honor brick has a story; there is a honor brick honoring a Medal of Honor recipient, several honor Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipients; and one for a survivor of the Bataan Death March from WWII. A WWII servicemember who comes to mind with an honor brick from Ocean Springs is Adelchi Pilutti . He entered the Army January 1, 1941, and was member of Post 42 prior to his death at 90. He was a member of the 508th Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne. He led his squad at night behind enemy lines prior to the actual invasion of Normandy in June 1944. Later he participated in the Battle of the Bulge. He was chosen to represent Mississippi in 2004 at the dedication of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. There is a brick for Korean Seabee veteran John C. Norris, who helped build a Korean orphanage and later personally funded the complex. An honor brick for the service of Gary Gollott of Ocean Springs as an Army tank driver in Korea comes to mind. His current wife, Laurie Gollott, and Joan Weems led the OS Garden Project in establishing the Gold Star Memorial next to Pershing Square. Two brothers who served two tours in Vietnam were Michael and Joe Williams from Ocean Springs. Tragedy struck the night Michael returned from Vietnam. He, with his brother Joe Williams who had returned a few months before, were passengers in a vehicle accident that took both boys' lives. Ocean Springs was in shock, Their sister Kathleen is the wife of Ben Esquibel, Army Ranger and Special Forces veteran of Vietnam and a member of Post 42. Many bricks honor more recent sacrifices of living and deceased servicemembers in Mideast wars. Among the last honor bricks to be placed to complete Pershing Square were dedicated to the service of USMC servicemembers KIA in Afghanistan, John E. Hayes and Jon W. Gifford; may they rest in peace.
The U.S. World War One Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum have recognized 100 official "WWI Centennial Memorials" across the nation. The title was awarded to Los Angeles’ Memorial Coliseum, Chicago’s Soldier Field, San Francisco's War Memorial Veterans Building, Washington, D.C.’s Pershing Park ... and Ocean Springs' Pershing Square.

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