By Caleb Brubaker

Staff Writer

reporter@thesalemnewsonline.com

Saturday afternoon, around 100 people gathered next to the Dent County Courthouse to participate in a patriotic rally in support of President Trump. People sported a variety of patriotic and pro-Trump garb and held flags to indicate their support of what they believe to be the American way of life.

The event started off with music by local musicians Heath Gaddy, Michael Connors followed by Lancer Blair.

Richard LaBrash Sr. led those gathered in the Pledge of Allegiance after which the organizer and event MC, Matt Presti read the both the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights in their entirety. Speakers at the event included, Representative Elect Ron Copeland, Master Sergeant Clay Lindsay, Vietnam Veteran Bill Stack who is pastor at Salem Full Gospel, and local mother and patriot Courtney Hubbs Banks and others.

Presti said, "The goal was to give people a voice and venue to gather peaceably in support of American Values, Constitutional Rights, our Police, Fire, Military and Veterans; to gather in prayer and support for our President Donald J. Trump, fair and transparent elections, and overall, to give people a sense that they’re not alone in this fight for our Republic."

Among the crowd were a variety of different people from area natives to naturalized citizens like Christl Fields of Rolla who moved to the U.S. from Germany in 1971 and attained citizenship status in 1994. "I guess I should have brought my Citizenship Flag," Fields said, as she held up an American flag in the brisk wind. "I could have shown you," Fields said with pride, her smile clear in her eyes despite her mask.

James C. Hobson attended the event.

"I been in trouble just about all my life," Hobson said. That troubled past has prevented Hobson from being able to vote; until this year when he was able to cast his ballot in the 2020 election. "First time I ever voted, I voted for Trump," Hobson said confidently holding a sign that read "Make America Great Again."

Presti said that he felt the event was successful, "From what I am hearing from attendees, and even others who wanted to be there but couldn't, the goals set out were not only achieved, but surpassed. I encourage people to take part in the political process and thank the Dent County Republicans for their support." Presti encourages people to be active in their local governments.