OUR OPINION: 2022 was a year of trying times and triumphs

Published 4:00 am Saturday, December 31, 2022

It’s hard to believe we’re already entering a new year, as 2022 sees itself out the door tonight and 2023 is welcomed in.

For the Vicksburg and Warren County area, we’ve seen a year of returning to normal, of heartbreaks and of progress.

From the deaths of some of our most beloved community members, including Margaret Gilmer, Michael Roach, Walterine Langford, and the tragic losses of young souls like Caroline Simrall Hood and Chandler Roesch, the community came together to support its members as they were hurting.

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We saw tremendous progress, as the Vicksburg Warren School District earned a B letter grade, added a couple more Lighthouse schools under its belt and regained its District of Innovation status. All three of these accomplishments were a whole-community effort, the significance of which can’t be overstated.

MCITy finally saw tenants, with the vision that began in 2017 coming to fruition in a way that was bigger and better than we could ever imagine. While progress is ongoing, there’s no doubt that 2023 will bring even more progress for the area’sĀ  technology and entrepreneurship sectors through programs offered by MCITy partners.

We had a year of wacky news, like the fireball spotted above the sky at 55,000 mph and the beloved “church cat” Salome at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church.

We made history, with Col. Christian Patterson being named ERDC’s first Black Commander ā€” and the first Commander to be hired from within ERDC.

We also saw our fair share of trying times, as the Mississippi River reached historic low levels, threatening to halt maritime operations for a variety of businesses in the area. There were a number of deaths and injuries due to gun violence, and a number of arrests made as the Vicksburg Police Department renewed its commitment to fighting crime in a proactive and innovative way.

Perhaps the thing most eagerly awaited from 2022 is that COVID-19 showed itself out the door. While the virus is still prevalent, we stopped letting it control our lives in an extreme manner and started filling our calendars and our hearts with more social experiences with loved ones.

Looking ahead to 2023, it’s our hope that Vicksburg and Warren County only continue to improve.

There are so many developments that could come to fruition in the new year: it’s an election year for county and state offices, the new Riverfront Park could open, progress will be made toward a new Warren County Jail, our school system will continue to produce leaders in a variety of fields and the River City will continue to improve.

The best part of all the progress ā€” and the trying times, too ā€” is we can’t get through it without each other.

As you head into 2023, ask yourself what you can do to commit to improving your town. It might be something as big as organizing a charity event or as small as picking up litter on your block. Either way, you can make a difference.