A rose to our Founding Fathers on this Independence Day for their foresight, courage and fortitude in founding a new form of government that, in theory if not always in practice, gave the American people the right to govern, which was, at the time, a new and radical experiment. While these men have earned their rightful place in history, we pause also to honor all those thousands of unknown and unheralded citizen Patriots who put their blood and fortunes on the line to make the Declaration of Independence, announced on this day 245 years ago, not just a document but a reality. Happy Independence Day, America!
A rose to all the new city government officials in the Golden Triangle, all of whom were officially sworn into office on Thursday. Columbus, West Point and Caledonia welcomed new mayors while Starkville and Columbus swore in two new aldermen and councilmen, respectively and Caledonia welcomed three new aldermen. The changes in city government are healthy, ensuring fresh ideas and approaches to the challenges our cities face. While not every citizen may have been pleased with the outcome of the races that put these officials into office, we should all wish them well in leading our city.
A rose to Jan Miller, who retired Thursday as Executive Director of Columbus Arts Council after two years in the position, thus marking the end of 31 years in leading some of the county’s most important civic organizations, including The United Way of Lowndes County and Main Street Columbus, where she helped promote the Riverwalk and the annual Market Street Festival. Although she has stepped down from leadership, we doubt this is the last we’ll see and hear from her. Her commitment to the community will manifest itself behind the scenes wherever there is an effort to promote our area arts, culture, welfare and beauty. Thanks, Jan, for all of her efforts over the years.
A rose to the Summer Scholars theater camp, which returned to Mississippi State after a one-year, COVID-19 induced hiatus. This year, 39 teens from Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas worked under the supervision of a creative staff of playwrights, musicians, teachers and authors to create original scripts for each musical comedy. The teens are divided into three teams, each working on their own one-act musicals, a format that ensured each student an opportunity to be thoroughly involved in their productions, which were held Friday and Saturday at McComas Hall on the MSU campus. The camp is a great way to promote theater, both as a hobby and, for some, a pathway toward a career in the theater arts.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.