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100-year-old World War II veteran joins Missouri’s Day of Prayer event

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s National Day of Prayer ceremony at the Capitol included a special guest: Sidney Walton, 100-year-old World War II veteran.

Currently on his “No Regrets Tour,” Walton is traveling to all 50 states to meet every governor and give Americans the chance to meet one of the last living World War II veterans. So far, he has met 21 governors — including, most recently, Gov. Mike Parson — as well as President Donald Trump.

Walton’s presence at the ceremony was fitting, with multiple speakers saluting Missouri’s active duty military, reserves, and veterans. Parson received applause as he recognized service men and women for the sacrifices they make every day.

“We need to remember — all of us do — that they do the things none of us want to do,” said Parson.

Garrison chaplain at Fort Leonard Wood Col. David Bowlus recounted a story of his time in Afghanistan. They were trapped in bunkers by rockets. He prayed and after he another rocket landed the middle of camp, which ended up being “dud.”

“God protected us,” Bowlus said. “Sometimes, you forget the awesome power of prayer until you see it up close.”

Parson noted that prayer has a we of helping people through difficult times.

“Ever since our forefathers called upon the colonies to pray for wisdom as our nation was being founded, the power of prayer has seen us through both good times and bad. As Governor, I pray that all Missourians will take time on this Day of Prayer to give thanks for the freedoms we should never take for granted,” said Parson. “In a world where many would willingly threaten our democracy, we must continue to pray for God’s blessing and protection.”