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Groundbreaking for Mississippi Veterans Memorial Cemetery PDF Print E-mail



On November 5th, 2009 the official groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Mississippi Veterans Cemetery to be constructed in Newton County, 20 miles west of Meridian on 75 rolling acres between Newton and Hickory, Mississippi. The facility, which will provide a final resting place for Mississippi veterans that will honor their service to the nation, is the result of cooperation between the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the Mississippi State Veterans Affairs Board. Designed by Howorth & Associates Architects in Oxford, Mississippi the project will provide 3000 standard burial plots, 1000 pre-placed crypts and 576 columbarium niches along with administrative offices, a committal service shelter, memorial walkways and maintenance support structures. First interments are scheduled for the spring of 2011.



HT and Billy

Attending the ceremony were H. T. Ware - Founder of Mid State Construction and a World War II veteran, Billy Ware - President and CEO, P.G. Bernheim - Vice President, COO, Jason Parkes - Project Manager, Chris Winters - Asst. Project Manager and Frank Miller - Superintendent.

Mr. H.T. "Red" Ware served in Company "C" 155th infantry, 31st infantry "Dixie Division" from November 25th, 1940 (he was 17) till December 23rd, 1945. The following is a summary of his service in his own words.

We trained on maneuvers in Louisiana, the Carolinas, Texas, Florida and Mississippi. Our Division left the United States from Newport News, Virginia in February 1944 for the Southwest Pacific. Our Unit began action in ORA Bay, New Guinea. We left Maffin Bay for Morotai on September 15th, 1944 and made a landing there with very little opposition.

The 155th Infantry Regiment then sailed to Mindanao in the Philippines, landing there in April 1945. We moved to the Agusan Valley and were ordered to clean out the Japs. We must have killed several hundred. Our commander ordered us to bring back a prisoner to interrogate for information about locations of Japanese troops. We had a Jap that was wounded in the foot. I gave him my K rations, as he appeared to be starving. He immediately tore into the package knowing it was a food ration. He opened a package containing powdered lemonade and ate it dry. When he finished the food, he found a package of four cigarettes. Tears came into his eyes. I looked up and said, "This is a hell of a war, isn't it? The prisoner was unable to walk with the bullet hole in his foot so we all took turns carrying him to base camp on our backs. He gave valuable information about the location and number of Japanese troops. Their troops were told to live off the land with no hope of reinforcements from Japan.

When the Japanese surrendered there, leaflets were dropped and small planes with loud speakers tried to let the Japs know the war was over for them and to come on in and get food and treatment. Some came down from the mountain with homemade crutches and half starved. Some did not believe the war was over for them and many continued to fight, costing more american soldiers their lives.

We were then sent to Delmonte Plantation where we were told that our division would be in the initial assault on Japan. We never expected to return to the United States alive. Then, President Truman ordered the atomic bomb to be dropped on the Japanese mainland, which ended the war with Japan.

Soon, we were on our way home. I was discharged, a Sargent and Squad Leader, at Camp Shelby, December 23rd, 1945.

Last Updated ( Friday, 18 June 2010 15:54 )

Company History

Letter From the President.

Much has changed since I first joined the Mid State Construction team way back in 1974. The industry as a whole has witnessed "jaw dropping" advances in materials, tools and techniques. Each day seems to bring a new innovation. As clichéd as it sounds, the more things change the more they stay the same. Science and industry, no matter how hard they try, will never "bottle and sell" pride in craftsmanship, commitment to quality, dedication to cost control and practical management. These are the qualities and skills that Mid State brings to each and every project.


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