The past year taught us we are stronger than we ever knew

Published 12:42 pm Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Over the recent weeks, we have scoured through our archives to pull out what we — and many others — would consider the top stories of 2019.

And while we could have chosen those that received the most clicks, likes or shares, the criteria we stuck to was picking the stories that shaped 2019.

It would have been much easier to choose shootings and murders, crashes and mayhem, but while crime was — and remains — an ongoing challenge for our community, it did not define who we were as a community in 2019.

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There was little debate as to the year’s top story. It was the flood. Rather it was The Flood. The devastating tragedy is worthy of capitalization and promotion to a proper noun.

It was an event, a catastrophe, that consumed the year, touched thousands of lives both directly and indirectly, and the recovery from that flood will likely shape much of 2020.

But while the flood was the main event, what we will remember most from 2019 is not the water, but rather the people. We will remember those who furiously fought the water though massive sandbagging efforts. We will remember those who chose to remain in their homes, hoping beyond hope the water would stop. We will remember those who stood watch over the flooded homes and communities. And, we will remember those who organized recovery efforts, raised money, donated supplies and gave of their time.

Two-thousand-nineteen gave us plenty of moments to be discouraged, upset and sad, but instead of giving in to those emotions, our community chose to fight and to stand with one another.

As a community, we might feel tired, bruised and weary from a tough year, but we are stronger for it. We proved a community of driven and compassionate neighbors can overcome any tragedy, any devastation.

There is no telling what 2020 will throw at us, throw at our community, but today we stand stronger, confident that whatever the challenge, whatever the obstacle, that we can meet it head-on and persevere.

We step out in a New Year thankful God has blessed us with a new day, a new year and a new decade, and thankful for the lessons learned and blessings received in 2019.

Happy New Year!