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Our Thoughts: Hometown Heroes
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This weekend we celebrate the contributions that workers have made towards the strength and well-being of our nation. Next weekend we look back and reflect on those who were killed on Sept. 11 and the public safety workers and bystanders who helped prevent more lives form being lost. And today, The Covington News is starting to accept nominations for our Hometown Hero.

This long-standing community partnership between The News and General Mills celebrates the unsung heroes of our community.

To us, that means the backbone of our community.

Newton County has been in the news plenty lately for religious differences, political posturing and retribution, racial tensions and murder.

However, is this indicative of our community? We say no, because community stems from
people. The workers we celebrate on Labor Day; the public safety officers who work when we most need them; and our coworkers, neighbors and friends – these are the backbone of our community.

As we are celebrating and remembering this month, those are the people that come through when we need them.

Yes, it is hard work, being human. It involves education, government, entertainment, family, hard work. All too often, we focus on all the things that are wrong; the negative, the bad, the salacious. They “sell newspapers” but they don’t make for a strong community.

Leaders typically make for that strong community; leaders of all kinds — government leaders, educational leaders, religious leaders, community program leaders, coaches, employers.

Our leadership runs deep in this community. And it goes beyond that, the people who elect our leaders, the people who work to become our leaders, and the people who lead without announcing so, or sometimes without even knowing so.

We should celebrate it, and we, along with General Mills will.

Do you know the next Hometown Hero?

Is there someone you know who does amazing work but goes unrecognized? Is there someone you know that goes above and beyond when it comes to their giving heart or their leadership? Is there someone you know who deserves more than the pat on the back they get for the efforts they have made?

Let us for a minute consider the possibilities of “Hometown Hero.”

Hometown. The place one calls home. This includes the families that have called Newton County home for 5 generations or more as well as the people who have just recently moved in. Hometown means a recognition and identification with a geographical community and some sort of sense of pride in that community.

Hero. That’s a more difficult word. It is one that is used in multiple settings and for multiple agendas. In a traditional sense of the word and the simplest definition, a hero is a person who is admired. Perhaps that admiration comes from courageous acts in the face of danger. Perhaps that admiration stems from outstanding achievements in education or community service. Perhaps that admiration comes from the noble qualities exhibited by that person.

What Hometown Heroes all have in common is inspiring others.

The Hometown Heroes we have celebrated within the pages of this publication have differed greatly over the years. We encourage you to explore some of their stories in our archives.
We also encourage you to share the story of someone you may know that should be the next Hometown Hero.

Let us celebrate the unsung heroes of our community… together.