PALMYRA, Mo. -- Palmyra will salute a dozen military veterans at 2 p.m. Sunday when the Palmyra Area Community Betterment group holds its eighth annual "Veterans Bricks" ceremony.
The event will take place on the Main Street side of the Marion County Courthouse in Palmyra, where a special brick-laying event will be carried out. The public is invited to attend.
Under this program, individuals or families can buy an engraved brick to serve as a lasting memorial to any military veteran, living or deceased. Then all 8-inch by 8-inch bricks purchased during the preceding year will be placed in a patio area outside the courthouse during a dedication ceremony typically held on or near Veterans Day.
This year, 12 more bricks will be added to the 164 existing bricks dedicated during previous ceremonies.
"It's just a way to recognize our veterans," said Janice Shaw, chairman of the PACB committee that oversees the bricks program.
"It's been well received," Shaw said. "It's a nice ceremony, and we have a lot of interest in it."
The event will begin with a welcome by Irene Meyers, president of the PACB, followed by a flag-raising ceremony by members of the American Legion's Boots-Dickson Post 174.
Meyers will then read the information inscribed on each brick before the veterans' families will take turns placing the bricks in designated spots on the patio.
"If there's no one there from the family to place the brick, someone from the American Legion will place it," Shaw said.
Once all the bricks are placed, Judge Rachel Bringer will conclude the event by offering closing comments and a prayer.
Shaw said the brick-laying ceremony can be an emotional event, especially when deceased veterans are being honored.
"It's very touching," she said. "Last year we recognized some veterans that were missing in action, who never came home."
The "Veterans Bricks" program serves two purposes. Not only does it honor local veterans for their military service, but it also is a fundraising mechanism for the PACB, which uses the proceeds from brick sales to help finance civic improvements in the downtown area.
"Anything we make goes back into the community," Shaw said.
The bricks sell for $150 each. Each brick had hold up to seven lines of type with a maximum of 15 characters per line.
Application forms to buy bricks are available at Palmyra City Hall. The forms also can be downloaded from the city's web site: showmepalmyra.com.
Shaw said people can order bricks at any time during the year, but the bricks will be placed in the ground only one time a year -- during the Veterans Day ceremony.