“A master of forgiveness.”
“Our greatest son.”
“The last great liberator of the 20th century.”
Countless words have been used to describe Nelson Mandela in the days since his passing last week.
It’s a fitting tribute to the man who meant so much to so many.
For decades, Mandela’s message was of peace and justice. He served as South Africa’s first black president and spent nearly a third of his life as a prisoner of apartheid — the cruel system of white minority rule — yet sought to win over its defeated guardians in a relatively peaceful transition of power that inspired the world.
And as The Associated Press reported, it was Mandela’s “generosity of spirit” that made him a “global symbol of sacrifice and reconciliation in a world often jarred by conflict and division.”
From heads of state to young children in his home country, Mandela’s passing was felt around the globe.
“We’ve lost our greatest son. Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father,” South African president Jacob Zuma said when announcing Mandela’s death on television last week. “Although we knew that this day would come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss.”
As Zelda la Grange, Mandela’s personal assistant for almost two decades, pointed out, Mandela inspired people to forgive, reconcile, care, be selfless, tolerant, and to maintain dignity no matter what the circumstances.
“His legacy will not only live on in everything that has been named after him, the books, the images, the movies. It will live on in how we feel when we hear his name, the respect and love, the unity he inspired in us as a country, but particularly how we relate to one another,” she said.
On Tuesday, that legacy was celebrated as thousands gathered at a memorial service marked by singing and dancing in tribute to the fallen leader.
“Around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs, and are still persecuted for what they look like, or how they worship, or who they love,” President Barack Obama said during the eulogy. “We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again. But let me say to the young people of Africa, and young people around the world — you can make his life’s work your own.”
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Mandela “one of our greatest teachers,” saying “he taught by example. He sacrificed so much ... for freedom and equality, for democracy and justice.”
Mandela’s story won’t soon be forgotten, and we hope his legacy continues to influence and inspire people for generations to come.
“A master of forgiveness.”
COLUMN: Freedom of Information — if you can pay
Several years ago, I made a Freedom of Information request to a local government agency. Within the five business days, as required by law, a packet of information was delivered to the office. I expected a bill, as most government offices have a charge that ranges from 25 cents to $1.25 per page for copies of the documents we request.
The reassuring spirit of Easter: One of new hope and beginnings
During the sub-zero and snow-filled months of winter, we maintained a spirit of hope that spring was on the way. It has now become a reality as all nature stretches and yawns and awakens once more to a new beginning. The fragrance of spring awakens our waiting nostrils, the budding beauty of new life brightens our eyes, and the reassuring idea of renewal stimulates our minds.
Unsung heroes handling calls in emergencies are appreciated
Thankfully, we live in a community where help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just by dialing three numbers — 9-1-1.
During this week, which is recognized as National Public Safety Tele-Communicator’s Week nationwide, we need to remember that on the other end of that line are the men and women here in this county who are always there in case of accident, crimes, medical emergencies and any other catastrophic event.
Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives
A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.
State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary
Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.
Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better
When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.
COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable
That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!
Decision to be an organ donor can save lives
Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.
Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community
Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
Marion County is full of volunteers.
They read to our youth.
They assist nonprofit agencies.
They serve on boards and committees.
And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.
Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law
West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.
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