Picayune Shows Its Pride And Patriotism - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

04/01/03

Picayune Shows Its Pride And Patriotism

Patriotic pride is on display in Picayune.

Like many small towns across the country, the streets of Picayune are lined with yellow ribbons and American flags.

Those symbols send a simple message to the troops. We support you.

It seems everybody in town knows someone who's deployed to the war.

Bright yellow bows greet drivers on Goodyear Boulevard, and at the east entrance to the city on Highway 43. The symbolic reminders of our troops overseas are everywhere in Picayune.

Mary Ellen Wheat is a florist who helped decorate the town with yellow ribbons and bows.

"It's real important for morale purposes to support the war. It's important to our servicemen. We have a lot from the Picayune area there. And of course we want them to know how much and how proud we are of them," she said.

Bows also adorn the columns outside the junior high school. The principal, who's a veteran himself, says hanging ribbons and flying flags is a simple assignment on the home front.

"We all have a share in this. Because they all have students and children that go to these schools. And all of us, even the local businesses, want to show their support in some fashion. It's just a small way to show it," said James Williams.

Picayune has long been a place of military pride and patriotism. There's a monument outside the steps of City Hall and a walkway of bricks, dedicated to those veterans who've served America.

"I need for you to copy these notes on Romeo and Juliet," said English teacher Amy Formby, as she directed her high school students.

She teaches about the characters of Shakespeare, but her thoughts are with our military troops. She has three sons with the Marines.

Two are reservists who were activated in February.

"There's a lot of support in Picayune for our military troops. And it's a good feeling to know that I can come to school, come to work and there's so many people who offer there support and their prayers," she said.

That support is evident in the giant ribbon outside her classroom door and the many ribbons and flags on display throughout Picayune.

There will be plenty more ribbons and flags flying in downtown Picayune this weekend. The city's annual street fair is dedicated to the military troops.

By Steve Phillips

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