PALMYRA, Mo. -- A dozen military veterans with local ties will be saluted at 2 p.m. Sunday during a brick-laying ceremony outside the Marion County Courthouse in Palmyra.
The Palmyra Area Community Betterment group will be hosting the ninth annual "Veterans Bricks" event recognizing local veterans. 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 during the ceremony -- typically conducted on the Sunday before Veterans Day -- all 8-inch by 8-inch bricks purchased during the preceding year will be placed in a patio area on the Main Street side of the courthouse.
This year, 12 bricks will be added to the 176 existing bricks that were placed in the ground since the program started in 2011.
The event will begin with a welcome by Irene Meyers, a longtime member 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 or friends take turns placing the bricks in designated spots on the patio.
After all the bricks are in place, Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd will conclude the ceremony by offering closing comments and a prayer.
Janice Shaw, who has been chairman of the Veterans Bricks program for the past several years, said the program is a good way for families and friends to recognize local veterans.
"It's just a nice tribute," she said.
The program also has served as a fundraising mechanism for the PACB organization, which used the proceeds from the sale of bricks -- priced at $150 each -- to finance various civic improvements in Palmyra's downtown.
This year, however, marks the last time the PACB will lead the Veterans Bricks program. Shaw said the program will continue in the future, but "we are handing it over to the American Legion Auxiliary," which will now take charge of selling, ordering and placing the bricks.
As the new sponsor, the American Legion Auxiliary also will decide how to use the proceeds from future bricks sales.
"They have a lot of projects on their own," Shaw said.
Shaw said she is confident the Veterans Bricks program will continue to be a success in future years.
"I think it's been a great activity that we have undertaken, and it's always been well received," she said. "I'm sure the American Legion Auxiliary will do a fine job also."