As has been the community’s tradition since 2003, a candlelight worship service, praying for members of the military, especially those who have a Brown County tie, is scheduled for next Tuesday.

The program begins at 6 p.m., and again this year will be held at the Margaret and Stuart Coleman Plaza in front of the Depot Civic and Cultural Center. Candles will be provided, but those who need seating are requested to bring lawn chairs. In case of bad weather, the event will be moved to Adams Street Community Center – but without the candles.

The Military and Family Support Group and several local pastors are coordinating the program. A community choir will help lead music. Any and all who would like to sing with the choir need only to report at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday to the plaza stage. Singers and melodious voices are always needed, and there are no auditions. For more information, call (325) 784-5014.

Prayers will be lifted for members of the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves, National Guard members and all of their families, as well as for world peace and those devastated by war at the service. Also, members of the Military and Family Support Group will read a roll call of enlisted men and women from the area.

“Doing this candlelight service and knowing that the community does come together to lift up the names of our service members – one being my son – in prayer for protection and peace is comforting,” said Babs Shields, a member of the Military and Family Support Group. “This gives me a feeling of peace in my soul.”

“We feel it is important the sacrifices these military members and their families have made and are making for our country not be forgotten,” said fellow coordinator Joyce Leidig. “Every year, it would be nice if there could be a tremendous show of support. We wish hundreds – thousands – would attend. We hear each year that those who do come feel blessed. It’s truly moving to hear the names of our military read one-by-one.”

Leidig said several years ago Ernest Kirk had a speaking part in the program, but in an impromptu move sang “The Battle Hymn of The Republic.”

“It was fabulous,” Leidig said. “We were all truly touched. It was such a beautiful moment. Since then we’ve made special requests for the Rev. Kirk to sing the ‘Battle Hymn’ as part of the program, and of course he’s always agreed. I don’t know yet if he will be able to this year, but we certainly hope so.”