The News Courier
— Kudos for cemetery restoration
I want to commend all the effort and obvious hard work that has gone into revitalizing and restoring the Old Town Cemetery (est. 1818) at the intersection of East and Washington streets.
It is encouraging for a newcomer to the community like myself to see a town care about the past. The history of Athens, its tree-lined streets and community feel were some of the reasons why my family chose to live here.
It has been my routine to walk with my dog past the Old Town Cemetery. Consequently, I have enjoyed watching the transformation of this hallowed ground from one of neglect to one with reverent sparkle. Marble is beautiful when cleaned.
I hope that the city will be able at some point to replace the fence that surrounded the property.
Erika N. Blair
Let’s return to greatness
We just celebrated Thanksgiving, a time for retrospective thought. The next four years will be very interesting, and hopefully, not more of the last four.
Rather than continue to dole out hard-working citizen’s funds through 1,000 various federal programs, we need to evaluate what is truly being accomplished and base much of the funding of individuals and organizations upon achieving certain goals – incentives rather than handouts. This policy should apply both federally and locally. More effort to achieve independence rather than dependence. Failure, due to lack of effort, is not a reason to give support.
We all have much for which to be thankful. We are members of a democracy, and most of us have shelter and food, through our own efforts or the graciousness and giving of others. Many defenders of our freedom are returning to their families. We need more emphasis on those that have been permanently, seriously, impaired due to their service and less to those uninterested in getting an education and bettering themselves or content to add to the many fatherless families and children.
Our city and nation can return to greatness if we place greater value on our own industriousness, self-reliability and what is achieved by honest, blood, sweat and tears.
Sometimes life is not fair and we have to evaluate those situations carefully, without rushing to judgment and disregarding personal responsibility. Credit and recognition should be given to those providing their own independence and not sacrificing benefits to their families for those who provide no effort at betterment.
We need to evaluate, just as closely, on a local level, as to what and how funds are dispensed to groups and organizations that should become self-supporting, not tax-funding supported, if they are not generating proven financial benefits to the funding body. Aesthetic and social benefits for some does not necessarily justify using the funds from the majority for the interests and desires of a few. Our City Council president stated they would determine how funds are to be allocated. How about a business, or town hall meeting to explain or justify their allocation decisions.
Let’s make our nation more self-sufficient, not provide a welfare state. We don’t want to emulate the European countries. We will succeed, if we support and promote those who strive to make us proud.
I salute the deserving ones, including those who served and want the best for their families.
Quentin D. Anderson Sr.