Ceremony planned to honor Haywood's first responders

Many of the citizens of this county can remember exactly where they were on Sept. 11, 2001.

All major television channels were fixed on the twin towers in New York City, the horrible site of the airplanes filled with innocent people crashing into the two buildings.

Police, fire and rescue were on the scene immediately. Soon after,the camera crews started to arrive to broadcast the aftermath. People were running from the scene, covered in concrete dust and gasping for a breath of fresh air.

As the people ran from the devastation, first responders were running toward the disaster. That takes a lot of heart and personal will power.

Haywood County Sheriff office, Waynesville, Canton, Clyde, Maggie Valley police departments, EMT and the N.C. Highway Patrol are the first line of defense in Haywood. These brave men and women have to go into sections of this county that many fear to tread in an effort to confront the dealers and those that consume and sometimes die as a result of drugs.

Who among us is willing to deal with the death, destruction and heartache of the opioid problem?

This is a problem happening right in front of our eyes, and we act as if we cannot see it. The opioid crisis is having a devastating affect on Haywood County.

Many of us may say, “this sitution is not affecting me.” Newsbreak: opioids are affecting everyone. Tax dollars, hospitals, businesses and first responders spend many man hours dealing with this problem. So you can see, “opioids” have a hand on your tax dollars and in turn have a hand in your pocket. Imagine the lives and money we would save by defeating this problem?

The 68,000 residents of this county are blessed to have these precious souls to respond rapidly to our emergencies. The first responders of this county make this area of North Carolina a safe place for all of us to go about our daily lives with a little less worry.

It is not against the law to speak to our neighbors (first responders) and let them know that they have our support, prayers and best wishes. So why do many of us just ignore those that have made it their life’s work to serve and protect us?

On Sept. 11, various churches of various denominations will have brunch and fellowship in honor of all first responders. It is hoped that this brunch will act as a meet and greet in an effort for members of the community to interact and realize that these men and women are just like everyone else.

They live and shop here in Haywood County. The only difference is they have 68,000 residents to care for. Everyone is encouraged to stop by, enjoy refreshments and meet a few first responders. They care about you so you can spend a few minutes with them.

Everyone is invited to come and express their opinions abouy emergency and security needs. First responders deserve our thanks for their tremendous dedication to our well-being. When trouble comes, 911 ives us access to these departments and they respond rapidly when called upon.

The First Responder Celebration will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at the Canton Armory, 71 Penland St., Canton on Wednesday, Sept. 11, with a ceremony starting at 10:30 a.m.

For more information, contact Debbie Bumgardner at 828-645-7270 or Nate Washington at 828-276-6504.

Nate Washington lives in Canton.

Speak the truth

To the editor:

”The further a society drifts from the truth the more it will hate those that speak it.” George Orwell

My goodness are we there? In his book 1984, George Orwell actually spelled out the current political situation in 2019 America. Led by a hateful President playing a ghastly tune about the hate Orwell mentions in his book, are we truly turning against those who speak the truth in America?

I would hope as decent citizens of America, and Haywood County, we would pause now and ask that question, have we arrived at a point that the truth no longer matters and we have become numb to the hate espoused and encouraged by our so-called President?

The Commandment by the Lord your God demands that you love your neighbor as yourself.

I must confess it’s getting harder and harder to follow that command today after getting up every morning and listening to the howling of a madman in the White House. He has begun his campaign for a second (third, fourth?)term on a platform based on narcissism, race, and hate, and more hate.

Those who oppose him, anyone, is un-American and should be “sent back home”. Having studied the language of the modern era’s dictators and thugs, they remain in power based on the above platform espoused by Trump!

In America today, political opposition is starting to become treasonous and a national security threat. Mark my words, this American strongman will never go quietly into the night, and if he is elected for a second term, a darkness will settle upon America similar to the 1930s in Germany.

So what is to be done? Hold the Constitution close to your heart, speak publicly about all this, write letters to elected officials, talk with your friends and neighbors, select a democratic nominee who can actually defeat Trump. That nominee should be a moderate who does not live in a socialist fantasy land. If the Democrats nominate a progressive, the election will turn into America versus socialists and our so-called President will be re-elected.

What should be done is to vote in the primaries and the general election. If you do not, and so many of you did not do in 2016, prepare to reap the whirlwind. Let’s not submit to the hate, but fight for our Republic and the truth.

David Crane

Maggie Valley

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