Special to the Minden Press-Herald
Every so often the stars (and stripes) align and a dream comes to fruition – in this case to offer the community a church-hosted celebration to honor those who fought for the country’s freedom on Veterans Day.
“We’d been looking for a way to honor our veterans in a special way, and the stars aligned, if you will, because Veterans Day falls on Sunday this year and we thought we would seize the day,” said Brian Mercer, Pastor of First United Methodist Church of Minden.
The church will be offering its first such program at 6 p.m. Sunday, November 11 in the sanctuary, 903 Broadway.
“We have yet to determine if it will be an annual event,” The Rev. Mercer said. “We’d like for it to be, but because it was already on Sunday this year, we thought that was a winner for us, for the entire community. We want everyone to feel welcome and attend.”
Leading off with a special reading by Jennifer Thomas, King’s Kids, ages preschool through second grade, directed by Lisa Soignier, will sing “Peace Before Us” and lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Rev. Dr. Pat Day of First United Methodist Church in Shreveport will offer a special address, focusing on the price of freedom.
A selection of patriotic music will be performed by the Chancel Choir, led by Dr. Gay Grosz, Minister of Music and includes pieces with congregation participation.
“All of our music will be special tributes to Veterans,” Dr. Grosz said. “And it’s easy to find patriotic music, but we found one piece – ‘It Has Always Been the Soldier’ – that is an especially touching piece of music from the soldier’s point of view.”
Following that, the Color Guard for the American Legion Wiley-Pevy Post #74 will present the colors during a special musical Salute to the Armed Forces.
Memorial Day, which is observed on the last Monday of May, commemorates the men and women who died while in the military service and is sometimes confused with Veterans Day.
First United Methodist Church’s patriotic program will conclude inside the sanctuary with a video that purposefully merges a solemn and moving tribute to veterans with those who died in battle and the freedom afforded by both.
Afterward, the congregation will be invited to move to the front lawn of the church for a continuation of the celebration.