Purple Heart Monument Taking Shape - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/27/04

Purple Heart Monument Taking Shape

A new military memorial is taking shape at Veteran's Park in Biloxi.

Monday morning, workers unloaded some 35 tons of granite for a new "Purple Heart Memorial" at the Small Craft Harbor.

George Higginbotham couldn't help but smile as a construction crane lowered pieces of stone that are building his dream. The Biloxi World War Two veteran is the man most responsible for making certain South Mississippi always remembers those wounded in combat.

Workers from Reynolds Monument carefully positioned huge slabs of solid rock. It takes skill to unload 70 thousand pounds of stone. But it's the meaning behind the markers that excites veterans.

"In fact, this is the second most exciting day of my life. Day number one was when I came back from overseas with my wife and three children," said Higginbotham.

Kelly Derouen helped George Higginbotham bring his vision to reality.

"And started out with a little piece of printer paper and a sketch and it just kind of blew up from there," she explained.

Those printer paper plans evolved into haunting images etched on a granite canvas.

"I know those guys have had a real hard time over there. Because just look at the face of the one guy on there with the shock. I just can't imagine being in that situation. And all the guys we have overseas right now, going through the same thing," Derouen said.

George Higginbotham is footing the roughly 80 thousand dollar cost of the monument. Fellow veterans say the new monument is a fitting tribute.

"Like the Vietnam Veteran Memorial in Ocean Springs. This is about the heros here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. This is to honor all those who collected a purple heart for having been wounded in combat," said veteran Henry Cook.

Monument man, Don Reynolds, takes special pride in the project, although spectators raised his level of nervousness.

"Most of the time when we're working on a job, we don't have quite as many people out here," said Reynolds.

Many more people will visit the site to remember and honor those wounded in combat.

"And this will be here for our great, great, great, great grandchildren," said a beaming George Higginbotham.

The finished project will include pictures of purple heart recipients etched onto slabs of black granite. A formal dedication of the monument will be held in the next few months.

By Steve Phillips

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Sheriffs arrest armed suspect cameras caught breaking into home

    Sheriffs arrest armed suspect cameras caught breaking into home

    Monday, May 21 2018 6:16 PM EDT2018-05-21 22:16:59 GMT
    (Photo Source: George County Sheriff's Office)(Photo Source: George County Sheriff's Office)

    The George County Sheriff’s Office released chilling footage of an armed man attempting to break into a Lucedale home. 

    More >>

    The George County Sheriff’s Office released chilling footage of an armed man attempting to break into a Lucedale home. 

    More >>
  • Beauvoir asks New Orleans for Jefferson Davis statue

    Beauvoir asks New Orleans for Jefferson Davis statue

    Monday, May 21 2018 6:09 PM EDT2018-05-21 22:09:49 GMT
    Beauvoir is sending it's 3rd letter to New Orleans to ask for Jefferson Davis statue, which was removed from the Crescent City last year.  (Photo Source: WLOX)Beauvoir is sending it's 3rd letter to New Orleans to ask for Jefferson Davis statue, which was removed from the Crescent City last year. (Photo Source: WLOX)

    Beauvoir, the last home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, has renewed its appeal to the city of New Orleans to send Davis' statue to Biloxi.

    More >>

    Beauvoir, the last home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, has renewed its appeal to the city of New Orleans to send Davis' statue to Biloxi.

    More >>
  • Ocean Springs sinkhole growing larger, but who's responsible for fixing it?

    Ocean Springs sinkhole growing larger, but who's responsible for fixing it?

    Monday, May 21 2018 5:54 PM EDT2018-05-21 21:54:32 GMT
    Don Dupuis lives at the Oak Cove Condos and is worried the hole will continue to grow and that something or someone will eventually fall into it getting injured or stuck. (Photo source: WLOX)Don Dupuis lives at the Oak Cove Condos and is worried the hole will continue to grow and that something or someone will eventually fall into it getting injured or stuck. (Photo source: WLOX)
    Don Dupuis lives at the Oak Cove Condos and is worried the hole will continue to grow and that something or someone will eventually fall into it getting injured or stuck. (Photo source: WLOX)Don Dupuis lives at the Oak Cove Condos and is worried the hole will continue to grow and that something or someone will eventually fall into it getting injured or stuck. (Photo source: WLOX)

    A large hole in the ground right in front of a condominium complex in Ocean Springs is causing concern. But figuring out who's responsible for fixing it has proven to be tricky.

    More >>

    A large hole in the ground right in front of a condominium complex in Ocean Springs is causing concern. But figuring out who's responsible for fixing it has proven to be tricky.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly