Leaders to honor Reagan locally

Memorials will be held in Fulton and Columbia on Friday.
Thursday, June 10, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 9:16 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

President Ronald Reagan’s funeral Friday in Washington will be commemorated locally with ceremonies in Columbia and Fulton.

A ceremony will take place from 12:15 to 1 p.m. Friday at the Courthouse Square on Walnut Street. Geoffrey Preckshot, his wife, Rita Preckshot, and a group of local volunteers are organizing the event as a way to honor the legacy of the former president.

“Ronald Reagan was a man who was a conservative person but also a person of principal,” Preckshot said.

Boone County Presiding Commissioner Keith Schnarre, local attorney and Republican candidate for attorney general Dewey Crepeau and pastor Scott Luhrs of the New Hope Baptist Church in Princeton have already confirmed their participation as speakers at the ceremony, Preckshot said. Another clergy member and Preckshot, who is a candidate for a Republican committeeman seat in the Fourth Ward, are also expected to speak.

A donation to the local chapter of the national Alzheimer’s Association will take place at the event.

A ceremony will also be held at 9 a.m. Friday at Westminster College in Fulton to commemorate Reagan’s 1990 speech at the dedication of “Breakthrough,” a monument made from sections of the Berlin Wall. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be held at the Church of St. Mary.

President George W. Bush has declared Friday a national day of mourning, but city offices in Columbia will stay open and all city services will run as scheduled.

Paul Sloca, communications director for the Missouri Republican Party, said Ann Wagner, chairman of the Missouri Republican Party, will attend the ceremony in Washington on Friday as a representative of the Missouri GOP.

Congressman Kenny Hulshof is also representing Missouri at the ceremony.

Those who want to send their condolences to the Reagan family can sign a memory book at Memorial Funeral Home in Columbia. The book will be there until June 18, and will be later sent to the Ronald W. Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in California, said Norma Mitchell, general manager of the home.

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