Free lemonade handed out to first responders during Reconciliation Week

Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 6:32 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - With everything that is going in the world, with concerns about racism and COVID-19, Mayor Percy Bland said the timing of this event is special.

“It gives us all a chance to reflect, to be more loving, and to be more empathetic to reconciliate on things that have happened in the past,” said Mayor Percy Bland.

In 2003, six people were killed and eight others injured as an employee opened fire on his co-workers before turning the gun on himself. The family of Lockheed victim, Charlie Miller, started Reconciliation Week to promote healing for the community after the devastating tragedy.

“People were killed because someone had ill feelings towards black people and someone of another race. Moving forward, we must all love each other and to be united no matter what color we are, the religion we’re with or political beliefs we have,” said Reconciliation Week chairwoman, Stacey Miller.

Due to COVID-19, there were a few changes for this year’s Reconciliation Week.

“Today we made a change instead of passing out lemonade, desserts to the community and having entertainment by the youth. We decided for the committee members to do community service. Due to COVID, we see a need with first responders. We will be delivering lunches with lemonade to Greater Meridian Health Clinic as well as to the Meridian fire station number one.”

The Reconciliation Committee purchased 106 meals from Raising Cane’s and the restaurant donated jugs of lemonade that were delivered to first responders.

For a 13th year, the Reverend Charlie J. Miller Memorial Scholarships were awarded and the Miller Foundation presented a check to the Meridian Freedom Project.

“That donation will go towards our efforts to continue to fight for social justice and equality. Not just for our freedom fellows but for their families as well,” said Meridian Freedom Project executive director, Adrian Cross.

This year marks the 17th anniversary of that deadly shooting.

Copyright 2020 WTOK. All rights reserved.

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