‘Silent Watch’ calls attention to veterans’ suicides

SIDNEY — A flag-draped coffin will be the focal piece for the Sept. 22 “Silent Watch” planned to bring awareness to county residents of veterans’ suicides and prevention. Sponsored by the Shelby County Veteran Service Commission and supported by all the county veterans’ organizations.

The event will go from 7:20 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. The Silent Watch will be located on the southwest corner of the courtsquare.

Volunteers are invited to “Stand the Watch” consisting of 20 minutes standing quietly next to the coffin. There will be chairs available for anyone that would like to participate but may not be able to stand for a prolonged period of time. There will also be water available for anyone that may want it. We are asking community members to volunteer – participants do not have to be a veteran nor active member of the military. Those who have served in the military are not required to wear a uniform for the event. The only thing organizers ask is that they do not want the event to be a political issue – therefore any clothing items worn should not endorse any political ideology.

On average approximately 20 veterans die of suicide every day according to statistics from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The purpose of this event is to bring awareness to veterans and those that care the them that help is available – there will be information available for anyone interested.

Any member of the community that is interested in participating is asked to call the Shelby County Veteran Service Office, 937-498-7282, and indicate a time they would be available.