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Our Thoughts: Healing together
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Fishing for Hornyheads in Newborn

By: Darrell Everidge

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This week’s editorial was one of the most difficult we have written.

Our community welcomed thousands to its Square to celebrate the birth of the United States. Remembrances of the founding of our country, built on Democracy, the right to participate in what every person believes in and to pursue happiness were celebrated by many. The sky burst with colorful explosions as our hearts burst with pride and admiration.

Then, it seemingly all came crashing down.

One day before, alleged domestic violence resulted in the killing of a Covington man, leaving many to wonder how this could happen. Then, we had two separate shootings on two separate days resulting in the murder of a Conyers resident and a Covington resident. And then we learned that two young people who studied right here in Oxford were killed in a hostage attack half way around the world in Bangladesh.

Our community is deeply hurting.

If that wasn’t enough to make you ask why, the national news was. Two separate instances spread through news reports and social media of lives taken by police officers, instances that opened wounds of racial injustice that this country has been dealing with since before it was founded. Then, when you think enough is enough, police officers in Dallas were murdered in a planned attack during a peaceful protest.

Between the local tragic violence and the national spotlight, many have turned to social media to ask why, search for answers, seek reassurance, and, unfortunately, lay blame.

We look back to less than a week ago when thousands of people of all walks of life gathered within the four corners of our Covington Square and for miles around, staring up at the sky to a beautiful celebration of fireworks. There were no major incidents reported by the Covington Police Department and those of us there didn’t see any civil disobedience.

How can we have one such success in the midst of this pain and suffering, here at home and across the nation?

We think it was a feeling of belonging, which is the true character of our community. Connectedness with our friends, families and ourselves as we gather to enjoy the community celebrations, respectfully and responsibly. Pride in our “little” hometown of Covington playing host like it was Disney World. Celebration of our differences and diversity by bonding over the things that we have in common. Fellowship in the best and the worst of times but also in those every-day, not-so-special times.

We need that sense of belonging in everything we do and in the lives of everyone around us.

That’s what we want for everyone – the right to respect the lives of all our neighbors and to demonstrate and receive the love of this community.

Please, please take pride in your community, those around you and most importantly yourself as a human being. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Acknowledge that it breaks our collective hearts when these terrible acts happen right here in our community. Take each opportunity you can to help your neighbor in need but also receive help when it is offered. Set an example, take a lead and set the tone. Don’t take for granted the seemingly small moments of your life and of our community.

Our community response to this tragic violence is almost entirely one of love and support. This is the true character of this community, not the headlines on the front page.