Monsignor Robert A. Kurwicki, vicar general for the Jefferson City diocese, offered the following prayer Nov. 7 during the dedication ceremony for the Cole County Centennial Monument outside the County Courthouse in Jefferson City:
Almighty God and everlasting Creator, Whose greatness and insight has been witnessed throughout the history of the universe, we stand in awe of Your power and might during this quiet moment of prayer.
In humble adoration, we praise Your Most Holy Name. By Your infinite wisdom, You have guided our ancestors in good times as well as bad, in sickness and in health.
You have ordered their lives in times of peace and through periods when distrust between peoples erupted even into war!
By their perseverance, love and example, we continue to know of Your mercy and grace, and we are thankful.
Now we call upon You to continue to direct our steps and to order our lives, that they may be dedicated to Your praise and glory into the future.
Now, we are gathered in this place in our Capital City, by our courthouse, a place we would set aside to honor the heroes and heroines of our Cole County. Men and women who, in giving of themselves long ago, have endured separation from family and friends; have given of their time and skills; have placed respect for others over their own safety; in the performance of vocations some have paid the price of loss; some have even given their all, even their very lives to the call to service.
To all of these humble and brave individuals we owe much gratitude. Yet, too often, we have failed to recognize or appreciate the bravery of everyone, their unselfish dedication to family, and even criticized the political or religious causes for which they have been formed.
We make up for this fact now by this monument.
Today, in their honor, we now dedicate in gratitude this monument, crafted by human hands with love, as a tribute to all who have resided here as members of our community for today, and of days gone by. Plus a guide for the future.
No longer may we take for granted the tremendous actions that may have been necessary in the pursuit of freedom. No longer may we fail to give thanks to those whose actions are too often left unappreciated.
May this place, this beautiful monument, and inscription, be a reminder of the sacrifices that citizens have made, and will be made, in our feeble attempts to make this county a better home, great in spirit, great in purpose, and genuine in seeking truth.
May we all be enriched by this monument and most of all, by Your blessings.
And the citizens say “Amen!”