Events honor memory of Lockheed victims
HEALING PROCESS A unidentified couple comforts each other while joining a crowd at the First Baptist Church of Meridian during a memorial service that took place July 10, 2003, after the Lockheed Martin shootings.Photo by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star.
By Erin Hilsabeck / staff writer
July 7, 2004
Meridian, Lauderdale County and East Mississippi will honor the memory on Thursday of those who were killed last year when Doug Williams opened fire on employees of Lockheed Martin.
Events will include the unveiling of a new, life-size carousel horse in honor of one of the victims, a reception for family members of those killed and injured and a church memorial service.
The three events come exactly one year after Williams shot and killed six fellow workers, injured eight others and then took his own life. All three events are open to the public.
The carousel horse dedication is at 9 a.m. outside Mission Meridian at 900 Constitution Ave. The horse part of a countywide public art project will be dedicated in memory of the late Rev. Charles J. Miller.
The reception is at 10 a.m. on the second floor of Union Station on Front Street. Scott said the reception will allow time for victims' family and friends to meet with each other and honor their loved ones.
The memorial service is at noon at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1116 23rd Ave. Several victims' families are expected to give testimonials about their experiences following the shootings.
Scott said the memorial service will include the participation of the Rev. Raymond Leake of First Baptist Church and the choir of St. John's Baptist Church.
Jinnell Miller, wife of Charles Miller who had just returned to work at Lockheed Martin three months before he was killed said she hopes the carousel horse will represent her husband's belief in unity.
Charles was instrumental in opening the Meridian chapter of Mission Mississippi, a Christian organization devoted to racial reconciliation. Charles also was pastor of the First Tabernacle Church of God in Daleville.
Jinnell said many people have been unable to talk about the shooting and come to peace with it. She said she believes the carousel horse "will make it OK to remember, OK to talk."
Scott said she, Jinnell Miller and the Millers' daughters, Stacey and Amy, helped design the look of the carousel horse with Charles' character in mind.
Jinnell Miller said she believes it's time to move forward.