Words will never be enough

Published 8:51 am Monday, October 3, 2016

As I am approaching six years at The Tidewater News, I can think back on several special projects we have done that have been the source of great pride. None of them, however, generate nearly the sense of personal and professional satisfaction as the special edition we published on Friday.

Our salute to Western Tidewater’s first responders was a labor of love. Staff writers, page designers and advertising representatives all embraced the concept early on, and worked for well over a month to bring it to fruition.

Our primary partners, namely our advertisers and local schools, were equally excited to contribute and participate. So much so that there is additional content in today’s edition that we simply didn’t have room for on Friday. Our contributing writers also did a remarkable job, perfectly capturing in their own unique ways how grateful our community is for those who have chosen a life of service to their fellow man.

If I had to choose only one word to best describe the overall tone of the project, it would most likely be heartfelt.  It’s clear to me that all those who contributed their time and effort through words or artwork, whether it was a community leader or a second grade student, truly meant each and every one of the sentiments that they meant to convey. I know that our readers share those same sentiments as well.

More than just to say thank you, our mission in publishing this edition was to remind not just our first responders but also the entire community that we are all on the same team. The national media has chosen to focus almost solely on the events and issues that continue to divide us.

Their coverage of recent tragic events is seemingly doing little more than exacerbating the fear and misunderstanding that does exists in our time. We live in a world where humanity is desperate to find common ground and understanding. I can only hope that we have managed to help do so in our little corner of it.

To each and every person who contributed to this effort, whether it is one of our staff members, contributing writers or advertisers I say thank you. Thank you for being willing to go a little above and beyond to share a message of unity and gratitude with those who have made a commitment to give the last full measure of devotion if asked. And to those who serve our community as a first responder, whether as a law enforcement professional, firefighter, paramedic or as support personnel, we realize that the articles, drawings and photographs we published won’t make your jobs any better paying or any more safe. But we do hope that when you leave home to work your next shift, knowing how grateful your community is for what you do will make it just a little easier to lace them up and go to work.

Tony Clark is publisher of The Tidewater News. He can be reached at tony.clark@tidewaternews.com.