Pershing Square in Ocean Springs was dedicated Saturday, April 9, 2016. Named after General John J. Pershing (1860-1948) Commander of U.S. Forces in World War I. Pershing Square honors veterans living and deceased,preserving freedom from WW I, WW II, Korea, Vietnam and Mid East Wars Era who served in the Military, Reserves , National Guard , Coast Guard, and the Merchant Marine( in the USA or Overseas). Pershing Square is situated at the Emile Ladnier WW I Monument in front of the Mary C Art Center at 1600 Government Street, Ocean Springs, Mississippi. “The City of Discovery-1699”.
The dedication of Pershing Square opened with the Keesler Honor Guard Presentation of Colors, Pledge of Allegiance and Invocation by Post 42 Chaplin Carl King. The assembly was welcomed by Project Chairman Richard Eckert Sr. Post 42 Historian and Adjutant of Squadron 42 Sons of the American Legion. Recognized was the oldest member of Post 42 Adelchi Pilutti a WW II veteran member of 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne who parachuted behind German lines at night prior to the invasion of Normandy, D Day. The assembly was welcomed by Post 42 Commander Sandra Reid, the first lady commander elected in 2015. Mayor Moran complimented all who improved the grounds and mentioned her father John Duncan Moran was also honored with an engraved brick in Pershing Square. Eckert closed the proceeding saying it was a joint effort of City Officials, Department of Public Works and the American Legion. Mayor Moran was presented with a check for the balance of funds raised after reimbursing the city for a state of an art light to light the flag at night, and landscaping and after paying for the engraved bricks of veterans, contractor installation and two benches with bronze plaques. The many scores attending the ceremony were advised Post 42 will sponsor a Veterans parade in Ocean Springs, Saturday, October 29, 2016 a first in many years and asked for participation by High School ROTC, cheerleaders, bands and the scouts. Floats are welcomed and others are encouraged to participate. Posters have been placed throughout the city with more information.
Post 42 in seeking donations of land or a suitable building for a home they can call their own. Currently they meet at the Seniors Center Washington Ave. Next to the Anderson Museum, at 6:30 PM the third Monday of the month. The next meeting is April 18 and veterans of the Mid -East Wars, and prior are encouraged to join the effort to spread patriotism in our country. God bless the USA.