GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It was a short but significant ceremony Tuesday morning at Jones Park in downtown Gulfport. A large magnolia tree was planted in the park by city officials to commemorate the commissioning of the USS Jackson last month.
The newest Navy vessel was commissioned at the Port of Gulfport on Dec. 5 in front of a crowd of about 3,000 people.
To recognize and remember that event, members of the commissioning committee decided to buy and plant two magnolia trees. One was planted at Jones Park, and the other in the capital city of Jackson. The ship was named after the City of Jackson.
In addition to the tree, a bronze plaque is being etched and will be erected in Jones Park.
Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes said this is a very appropriate way to recognize the special bond between the military and the cities of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and there was no more fitting way to honor that bond then by planting the magnolias, the state tree of Mississippi.