Reconciliation Week starts Sunday in Meridian

File photo

Doug Marshall shares a laugh with Jinnell Fox Miller, the widow of The Rev. Charles J. Miller, during the 2018 luncheon honoring Rev. Miller and five others who died in the Lockheed Martin shooting in Meridian in 2003. 

Sixteen years after a mass shooting at the Lockheed Martin plant near Meridian, family, friends and community leaders will come together to remember loved ones and reconcile.

In 2003, a worker at the plant fatally shot six of his coworkers – DeLois Bailey, Sam Cockrell, Micky Fitzgerald, Lynette McCall, Thomas Willis and The Rev. Charles J. Miller.

Different events are planned for July 7 to 13 to build reconciliation, as this year’s theme is “Step by Step: Building Bridges for Reconciliation,” according to a news release from the Reconciliation Committee, which organized the weeklong remembrance.

On Sunday, local pastors are encouraged to lead their congregations in prayer for reconciliation.

On Monday, free lemonade and music will be provided at the Dumont Plaza from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

On Wednesday, the Rev. Charlie J. Miller Memorial Luncheon will be held at Union Station starting at 11:45 a.m. Pastor Ben Stears of NorthPark Church will speak. Plates will cost $15 for adults and $7 for students. Ideas will be shared on how to grow personally, professionally and economically. Two “Reconciler Awards” will be presented.

On Friday, the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast will start at 6:45 a.m. at City Hall. Pastor Fred Luter of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans will be the speaker. Donations will be accepted at the door.

At 8:30 a.m. the same day, Mission Mississippi, a Jackson-based Christian organization working to improve relationships across racial lines, will host an “Hour of Dialogue,” also at City Hall.

Saturday, the Queen City Cruisers will lead a memorial motorcycle ride from Lockheed to Forest Lawn Cemetery. They will begin riding at 11 a.m.

In addition to events throughout the week, the committee will donate to a local charity and provide $300 scholarships to two high school students in Lauderdale County. The scholarships will come from the Rev. Charlie J. Miller Memorial Scholarship program.

The Rev. Charlie J. Miller Foundation, the committee’s parent organization, is accepting donations. For more information, call committee chairman Stacey Miller at 601-482-2489.

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