A rose to all Americans on this Independence Day weekend, and to organizers and volunteers who have taken the time and expense to stage celebrations, large and small, throughout the Golden Triangle to commemorate our nation’s 240th birthday. So great a passage of time sometimes obscures the remarkable moment in history.
The Declaration of Independence was not only an act of great courage, but a unifying moment for the nation we would become.
Today, Americans are often deeply divided on a broad range of issues. That is why it is important to remember the power of unity.
As Benjamin Franklin noted just before he added his name to The Declaration of Independence:”We must, indeed, hang together or we will, most assuredly, hang separately.” Our nation is strongest when, despite our differences, we honor our history by resolving to be the “United” States of America.
A thorn to Columbus Municipal School District Superintendent Philip Hickman, whose approach to the district’s budget crisis (and the specter of a looming tax increase) seemed to focus more on assigning blame than accepting responsibility.
In two separate meetings Thursday, Hickman sought to distance himself from the difficulties facing the district, alternately pointing fingers at past superintendents and school boards, city administrators and, to some degree, the taxpayers who voted for bond issues that have created long-term debt that has made it difficult for the district to live within its means.
While those may be legitimate charges, the fact remains that it is Hickman who has accepted the responsibility for the task at hand. Two years into the job, Hickman’s focus should be looking ahead, rather than back. That’s what leaders do.
A rose to the city of Starkville, which was honored this week by the Mississippi Municipal League with the Municipal Excellence Award during the group’s annual conference in Biloxi.
The city submitted its award application under the economic development category, but was chosen as the conference’s overall winner.
“It was a tremendous honor to be recognized with the award in front of our peers,” Mayor Parker Wiseman said. “It’s a great opportunity to spread the good news about the great things happening in our community.
A rose to Reed Hairston of Columbus, who will represent Lowndes County at the state’s Distinguished Young Women program in Meridian July 14-16. In April, the Heritage Academy student was selected by judges as the county’s Distinguished Young Woman. On Tuesday at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library, Hairston presented the interactive DYW “Be Your Best Self” platform to about 160 youth in kindergarten through sixth grade.
“Be Your Best Self” allows DYW participants to reach out and encourage young people in their communities. It focuses on five elements: Be Healthy; Be Studious; Be Involved; Be Responsible; and Be Ambitious.
In two weeks, Hairston will join other DYW winners from across the state in Meridian to vie for college scholarships. They will be evaluated in categories including Scholastics, Interview, Talent, Fitness and Self-Expression. The state winner will advance to the national finals, to be held next June in Mobile, Alabama.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.