JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Bagpipes, a color guard, and tearful eyes dotted the Capitol rotunda today as families gathered to memorialize Missouri state workers killed on the job in the last year.
Missouri Department of Labor Director Ryan McKenna said the ceremony was designed to ensure that the state did not forget the sacrifice of its workers.
“We will not forget the 89 workers that died at work, or their commitment to the state of Missouri,” McKenna said. “That’s why we are working hard to break ground on a memorial right here at the Capitol for those workers.”
Families of about 15 of the 89 fallen workers were in attendance to accept condolences and a plaque honoring their loved ones. Missouri Highway Patrol Honor color guard also presented each family with a state flag from the Capitol, and bagpipe musicians played “Amazing Grace,” in the final moments of the ceremony as workers photos and words from loved ones were displayed on a video screen.
A vocalist sang “America the Beautiful,” and Sen. David Pearce read a prayer for the audience. State Treasurer Clint Zweifel also spoke briefly to the crowd, and lawmakers with fallen workers in their districts also attended.
“This is a reminder of how much we rely on one another,” Zweifel said. “Think about how many other people we depend on every day. We depend so much on the work of others.”
Collin Reischman was the Managing Editor for The Missouri Times, and a graduate of Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.