World War II hero to speak at Gold Star ceremony

The city wraps up its three days of ribbon-cutting ceremonies with an event on Saturday that will feature a national hero.

World War II Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams, a Marine corporal who saved countless American lives with his flamethrower in the Battle of Iwo Jima, will be the speaker at the dedication Saturday at 1 at the Gulf Coast Gold Star Families Memorial Monument at Guice Park in Biloxi.

Williams, who turned 96 last month, will speak during the public ceremony at the park, which is just north of the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor and is home to several war memorials.

The dedication of the monument marks the third of three significant ribbon-cutting ceremonies this week: On Thursday, city and county leaders dedicated the pedestrian overpass at U.S. 90 north of the small craft harbor, and this morning the city cut a ribbon on its newest fire station, on old Highway 67, just east of Cedar Lake Road.
Gallery: See the Gold Star Families Memorial
Gallery: See the pedestrian overpass dedication

It’s a 10! City puts newest fire station in service

City leaders gathered this morning to formally open the city’s newest fire station, Station 10, which is on Old Highway 67 and will serve the Cedar Lake and East Woolmarket areas.

The new station, which is expected to reduce response times north of the Bay, will currently be manned ’round the clock by three firefighters and a couple firefighting vehicles. The station is on old Highway 67, just east of Cedar Lake Road.

Architect Mark Williams designed the station in the same style he used for two other stations: Station 2 on Point Cadet and Station 9 at Eagle Point.

“We’re very proud of this new station and what it means to our ability to serve the people of Biloxi, especially those north of the Bay,” Fire Chief Joe Boney said after the ceremony. “We’re also proud that this new station honors one of our fallen firefighters.”

The station was dedicated in memory of Anthony Rousseau, believed to be the first Biloxi firefighter to be killed in the line of duty. Rousseau died after being crushed by a hook-and-ladder truck as it was leaving a station enroute to a fire call on March 14, 1951.

Said Bernie Marinovich during the ceremony: “I didn’t get to know Uncle Tony. He was just 43 years old when he died, and I was only 3. But I think my mother, Octavia Rousseau, Tony’s sister, would have described him as a quiet, humble hard-working man.

“I believe Tony himself would have said he was an ordinary American, doing what he loved and the work he believed in. But I submit, that Tony Rousseau was no ordinary American. On the contrary, he was a committed Biloxi firefighter. I know in my heart that Tony embodied what it takes to be a firefighter: honor, courage, valor.”
Gallery: See photos from the ceremony
Read Bernie Marinovich’s comments about Tony Rousseau
Podcast: Joe Boney on fire stations and Jack, the Fire Dog

News & notes: Podcast, weekend preview, council, B-Alert

Podcast: Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney guests on this week’s edition of the City Desk podcast, recorded on Thursday at the Lopez-Quave Public Saftey Center. The chief discusses the city’s new fire stations and Jack the Fire Dog. To listen to the program, click here.

Weekend preview: Saturday, Howard Avenue’s West End Merchants host Polar Express Holiday Open House from 10 to 5 p.m., and the dedication of the Gulf Coast Gold Star Families Memorial Monument will be at 1 p.m. at Guice Park, north of the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor. Then on Sunday, the Biloxi Parks & Recreation Department will hold its annual Special Needs & Family Thanksgiving luncheon from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Donal M. Snyder Sr. Community Center. Throughout the weekend, Disney on Ice will be at the Coast Coliseum. To see the Biloxi Community Calendar, click here. To see a complete weekend line up, click here.

City Council: The next scheduled meeting of the Biloxi City Council is Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. To see the meeting schedule, visit the Biloxi City Council page by clicking here.

B-Alert: Stay in the know about road closures, road re-openings, and other traffic advisories by signing up for B-Alert.  It’s a real-time, on-the-go messaging system that brings advisories directly to your cell phone.  Just text BILOXI to 888777.