It’s good to live in a small community. East Alabama has a lot of people, but it’s still considered a small community compared to much of the country. It’s more rural. It’s nice. And the best part is people know each other.
I was raised in East Alabama. I attended Smiths Station High School, and people are always asking me if I know so-and-so who also graduated from Smiths Station. If I don’t know them, I can almost guarantee I know someone who does, or my parents know their parents.
I’ve been writing about this community for 13 years. It seems like a long time when I write it down. I’ve seen a lot of things as a reporter. I’ve covered news, events, and people.
I’m certainly glad we don’t seem to have the same problems we’re seeing in big cities across the country right now. In the last two weeks, there have been three demonstrations or walks in our coverage area. The first was a ‘peace walk’ in Smiths Station. The second was a meeting at the amphitheater with leaders and law enforcement. The third was an independent walk from the Judicial Center to the amphitheater.
Let me tell you what I saw in each of these events: people coming together regardless of race or class in peace. None of these events got out of hand. In fact, in each of them, leaders recognized that Almighty God is the answer, to love each other in spirit, and that we have to work together to build the community up.
While I’m certain not everyone feels that way in our community, it seems to me that the voices that are the loudest are speaking peace and unity amongst our brothers and sisters. And we’re living it out on a day-to-day basis.
I’m so proud to be from this area because of that. I’m proud to see churches coming together to share love for each other. I’m proud to see our diverse government leadership working together and moving us forward. I’m proud to see that our voices don’t speak hate and division. I hope you see what I see in our community. I can only pray we move forward in love, peace, and unity regardless of race and class.
By Denise DuBois, Executive Editor