Before the start of the Marshfield Independence Day parade, all eyes were on the clock on the county's Justice Center, which is nearing the end of construction.
County and state officials gathered to dedicate the clock as a symbolic measure. The steady movement of the hands can be seen to represent continuity of justice, both in the county and in the nation that the parade was celebrating.
Webster County Commission president Paul Ipock said that it was a blessing to be in Webster County.
Ipock noted, "Our whole life revolves around time," and added, "The time we're given is not going to come back."
Said Ipock, "Time has a beginning. Time has an end. We hope the clock will guide you in between them."
Missouri’s lieutenant governor, Mike Kehoe, was also present for the parade and the dedication.
"I'm happy to be here to help dedicate the clock," he said. He added, "Like the timepiece behind me reminds us of our freedom, I just want to say, let's make sure that the clock never runs out on our liberty. That is the main thing we’ve got to keep in mind every day to thank those who have brought us this freedom here today."
Kehoe called the new Justice Center is a nice upgrade from the jail atop the courthouse across the street.
Sheriff Roye Cole spoke briefly to thank the public for bringing the Justice Center into being. "We want to thank you all very much for your support in the project and what you put towards it," he said. "Your votes and your support of us is what matters; it's the only way we can make it happen."
Ipock told the crowd that the Justice Center is still pretty much on schedule, despite 70 bad weather days. He noted that the building will require some training for Sheriff's Office staff. "This is going to be a very smart building — a very secure building," Ipock said. "Every time you look at the clock, I hope you remember the sacrifices people made to make this day possible."
The Justice Center should be ready to hold prisoners in November. When it is completed, the public will be invited to tour and even to spend a night in a cell prior to its occupation.