Already, this is a year to remember

Published 12:16 am Wednesday, April 29, 2009

From all indications, 2009 will go down in history as one of the bloodiest years in the Southeast’s history, but it could also very easily go down in history as one of the most giving years in Covington County’s history.

Looking at the news, it appears that murder and mayhem are prevalent everywhere you look and the proximity to the spot we all call home is startling.

In March, a senseless shooting by a deranged marksman in Kinston, Samson and Geneva claimed 11 lives, including his own, in a planned attack after his mother was suspended from her job.

Samson is 35 miles from home; Kinston, 23, and Geneva, 47.

Earlier this month, a Coca-Cola deliveryman was shot and killed by a disgruntled employee on a college campus in Defuniak Springs, Fla.

Defuniak Springs is 60 miles from home.

On Saturday, two Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies died while attempting to serve a warrant at Coal River Sporting Clays on U.S. Highway 90 outside of Crestview, Fla., in reference to a domestic violence situation that happened hours earlier. Joshua Cartwright, 28, shot and killed the two deputies in a shootout.

Crestview is 60 miles from home.

Night after night, the news gets worse, but if you read closely enough, the stories in our paper get better in better.

After the Geneva shootings, the community raised more than $60,000 to help the family of Deputy Josh Myers who lost his wife and child in the shooting. Dollars and dimes were dropped into buckets as citizens and policemen stood side by side and showed the world how much Covington County cared.

On March 31, we printed our annual Profile edition. In it, were more than 30 stories of people, places and things that make this place we call “home” unique. We told you about you about how Jennifer Reese dedicates her time and energy to the Humane Society; about how Patricia “Sister” Schubert Barnes has created an orphanage in the Ukraine, and how Andy and Sue Nolen spend their afternoons maintaining the baseball fields at Red Level High School.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 100-plus people turned out daily to work at the Habitat for Humanity build in Opp. Countless hours, nails and prayers went into making a new home for Tony and Janie Lynn Hanlan, and their children, D.J., 15, and Taylor, 8.

On Tuesday, we told you how Relay for Life is halfway to its $113,000 goal, and in the coming days, we will tell you about the 35 or so veterans who will travel to Washington D.C. to fulfill a dream and how they made it home in one piece.

No one can say that Covington County hasn’t given its fair share of its time, effort and energy to make this world a better place.

For that, I am proud to call this my home.