Biloxi breaks ground on Gold Star Family monument

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Artist rendering courtesy of the City of Biloxi

The ground was broken on Tuesday for the new Gold Star Families Memorial Monument in Biloxi. The monument will join the current World Wars monument, Purple Heart monument, and the USS Biloxi memorial at Guice park.

Photo courtesy of Harold Ham McLelland

“We are excited to add another monument to the park and to honor those who lost loved ones in combat,” said Biloxi Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich. “Through the partnership with Keesler Federal Credit Union, we are able to make this project happen.”

The ceremony included brief comments by City of Biloxi Chief Administrative Officer Michael Leonard, decorated Marine veteran that spread headed the project, Mike King from the Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, Jim Hollingsworth, Marine veteran and Board chairman of Keesler Federal Credit Union, and Diane Moore, chairman and member of Gold Star Families.

“Keesler Federal wanted to be involved in this project as soon as we first heard about it,” said Hollingsworth. “The Gold Star Families Monument will serve as a permanent memorial to the families whose loved ones have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  The pain does not go away and neither should our appreciation of their personal sacrifices.

Photo courtesy of Harold Ham McLelland

Keesler Federal is providing the funds for the monument, the city is providing the site and the Gulf Coast Gold Star Families committee has assisted with design of the monument.  The Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, a non-profit organization located in Louisville, Ky., has sponsored similar Gold Star monuments around the country in order to raise public awareness about Gold Star families.

“This is a project that really hit home with Keesler Federal,” Hollingsworth said. “We are a member-owned financial cooperative.  Many of the Gold Star Families from this area are our members and our neighbors. Our motto of ‘Important to you, Important to us’ couldn’t ring clearer in supporting this project.”

The memorial is expected to be completed in the fall and will be unveiled during a dedication ceremony.

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