Crowd gathers for vigil and memorial for Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Adel

Andrew Brown
Perry Chief
A crowd gathers around the courthouse in Adel on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020 for the vigil and memorial for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Individuals from around Dallas County remembered the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a vigil and memorial Monday in Adel.  

Held on the grounds of the county courthouse, people gathered in a socially distant setting to remember Ginsburg's life and many accomplishments. Leading the effort was Dallas County Democrats Chair Bryce Smith of Adel. Just after 7:30 p.m., Smith kicked off the event with a few words and thanked all who were in attendance. 

"When I first heard of the news, my heart sunk," Smith said to the crowd. "It's important that we as Americans, we as Iowans right here in Dallas County can relate to the sadness, tragedy, and also the hope and vision that Justice Ginsburg lived her life with, especially on the bench." 

Smith then opened up the floor to local activist and pastor Pat Stalter of Adel. 

More:Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies, setting up nomination fight

"When Ruth Bader Ginsburg began her career as an attorney, America's courtrooms and law firms were virtually all males," Stalter read. "Female judges were almost unheard of." 

Stalter talked about some memorable moments in the life of Ginsburg and the accomplishments she had.  

"We could say she was well ahead of her time but thank God she wasn't because all of us here are benefitting from her keen sense of the law," Stalter continued. "Her work for equality is for all of us." 

Following Stalter, Smith gave thoughts of his own to round out the event.

Cheri Scheib of Perry holds a sign during the vigil and memorial for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020 next to the courthouse in Adel.

"I knew that finding out the news that I couldn't be the only person mourning in a different way," Smith said. "You constantly knew she was working for our country and in a direction of progress, unity and togetherness. For me, that instilled the values of what she is but also what we need more of in our communities. I thought what better way to honor her than to get people together who feel the same way." 


Smith mentioned the backdrop, Adel's very own courthouse, as a very fitting place to hold such an event. 

"What better way to promote democracy and our court system than in front of this beautiful courthouse," Smith said. 

Smith referred to Ginsburg as a trailblazer and someone who meant so much to many across the country. 

"For someone to be 87 years old and see so many things in her life and for me as a fairly young person to think about how I could positively impact and promote the values that Ginsburg led her life by is the least I could do," Smith said.  

Bryce Smith speaks during Monday's vigil for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg outside of the county courthouse in Adel.

Smith was impressed by the vigil's turnout.

"To see that she impacted the lives of so many was great to see," he said. "It was a great crowd here tonight to share in our remembrance of Justice Ginsburg."