Hero lunch

Lee Unterreiner, dressed as Uncle Sam, addresses the crowd at the Heroes Luncheon at Immanuel Lutheran School on July 4. The event paid tribute to the armed forces, along with local firemen, policemen and EMTs.


Although the Fourth of July fell at an odd time this year, toward the end of the week, that didn’t stop the service men and women from attending the Honoring our Heroes Luncheon at Immanuel Lutheran School on Thursday hosted by the “Spirit Within” Series Committee

This event served to honor those who served their country, and their community inviting area first responders, police, firefighters, sheriff’s deputies for a special meal as a way to say thank you for their heroic service to the community.


“It’s just a way to say thank you to those who protect both the country and the community,” Spirit Within” Series Committee member Carol Taylor said. “This lunch is the best way that we know how to do that.”

The “Spirit Within” Series Committee members were pleased to see a large range of servicemen and women come in to enjoy the lunch. Every service branch of the military was represented, along with police, firemen, and EMTs within the crowd of 295 patrons at the event. 

“We wish to give back a little to those we feel have given so much,” event emcee Lee Unterreiner said to open the event. “Despite there being a vacancy at the dinner table because they are serving our country or working another shift, we appreciate the work that you do. 

Following the opening blessing by Pastor Matthew Marks, a lunch of smoked chicken and pulled pork was served alongside dishes of slaw, hashbrown casserole, green beans and included several tables of patriotic desserts.

After the meal, guests were treated to performances of “Let Freedom Ring by Taylor and “God Bless the USA” by Randy Mueller.

Sandwiched between the performances was an update on the Missouri National Veterans Memorial by MNVM executive director Nancy Guth. 

She noted that the Wall has been a success so far with a total of 4,265 volunteer hours and mentioned that there have been visitors from around the country. Along with comments from visitors she said ranked the top five in terms of number of visitors from each state. The top two were Missouri and Illinois with New York, California, and Texas rounding out the top five. 

She then went on to note a few events the memorial had coming up in the next few months, including a POW/MIA candle light vigil on September 20 and the MNVM Ride to the Wall on September 21.

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