Prayer vigil, tribute ceremony planned for Saturday
SIKESTON - The idea behind "Let's Support Our Troops," a prayer vigil and tribute ceremony scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, is just what it sounds like.
"We wanted to show our Sikeston community and surrounding areas that we care about them and their loved ones who are serving in the armed forces," said Dr. Rick Ramsey, pastor of First Baptist Church of Sikeston. "Regardless of a person's political persuasion or whether they agree or disagree with decisions that are made, regardless if you are 'for' or 'against' the war, we want to provide the opportunity for our community to come together, pray, show support and pay tribute to those young men and women who stand in harm's way, doing their duty, standing in the gap, providing peace and fighting for freedom."
The event will take place at the First Baptist Church in Sikeston, 1101 North Main. Planned as an outdoor event, there will be a stage and bleachers set up but Ramsey recommended those attending bring lawnchairs. "It if does happen to rain, we'll move it inside," said Ramsey.
"We're going to have a time of honoring the veterans who are present and a prayer vigil for those currently serving," he continued. "There will also be a moment of silence and 21-gun salute for those who have paid the ultimate price."
Musical performances at the event will include patriotic music by retired Lt. Col. Neal Wagley, Harold Myrick and the group "Replica."
"We have several speakers included, as well," said Ramsey "We've got delegates and dignitaries coming from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, National Guard, Missouri State Highway Patrol, fire and police from the Sikeston Department of Public Safety and area ambulance district EMTs."
Some of the military representatives will bring equipment for display as well, he added.
The American Legion and its auxiliary have confirmed they will participate, Ramsey said. Invitations have been extended to the VFW and sheriff's department.
State Rep. Peter Myers has also indicated he will attend, according to Ramsey, and an invitation will be extended to the individual elected as Sikeston's mayor Tuesday.
SEMO Skydivers will also be there to support the event. "They're going to parachute in at 6:45 p.m., weather permitting," said Ramsey.
Ramsey is asking for area residents to bring names of family members and friends who are currently on active duty to the First Baptist Church or the Standard Democrat so they can put together a prayer list to share with the community.
For information call the church from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at 471-4122.