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OPINION PAGE - NOVEMBER 17, 1999 - HOMER, GA

Editorial
The Banks County News
November 17, 1999

Ceremony a fitting tribute for fallen firefighter
Ninety-one people were killed while fighting fires in 1998. Banks County volunteer firefighter Loy Williams is one of those struck down while serving his community. Williams was one of the Banks County volunteer firefighters trying to save New Salem United Methodist Church in a New Year's Eve arson.
A national ceremony was held recently in Maryland to pay tribute to those firefighters killed last year. It is fitting that members of his family and fire department attended this special ceremony to remember and honor Williams.
Too often people don't take time to honor those heroes who give selflessly to their communities. Volunteers such as Williams serve their communities with love and dedication without any monetary reward. We salute the 91 who lost their lives while trying to save people and structures.


No need to move trial out of county
A Superior Court judge in Texas once said that if someone commits a crime in a county, he should be tried in that county. The suspect should be tried by his peers in his home county without the taxpayers being burdened with the costs of an out-of-county trial.
This judge was right on the mark in his ruling.
Lawyers representing those accused in the home invasion at Sam and Georgia Thurmond's residence are asking that the trial be held in another county. But there has not been an undue amount of press coverage of this case. The attorneys have clipped the articles about the case and are all set to use them to sway the judge for a change of venue.
It is ridiculous to assume that Banks Countians would not be fair in this case and are so biased that the court system should go elsewhere for the trial. An out-of-county trial brings additional costs to a county that most trials would not. The judge and court officials must travel to this county, along with the suspects and sheriff's department officers. The case should be tried in Banks County where the crime was committed.

Column
By Angela Gary
The Banks County News
November 17, 1999

Thanks, Nanny,
for praying for us
Sometimes she calls early in the morning to tell us she is thinking about us and let us know we are in her prayers. She seems to know when we are going through a difficult time or aren't feeling well. She may wake up in the middle of the night with one of us on her mind. She will pray for us and then call us the next day to tell us she is thinking of us.
Religious leaders preach about the importance of prayer, but many people don't take time to do it. Others may take time to pray for themselves, but they don't do it for others. My grandmother, Mozelle Clark of Commerce, is one of the few people who remembers others in her prayers. If she tells you she is praying for you, she means it.
Nanny Mozelle is a firm believer in prayer, and her prayers have gotten my family through many difficult times. I am thankful to have her to pray for me and remind me through her actions of the power of prayer and what it can do. I am also thankful to her for many other things. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I want to take time to thank Nanny Mozelle for being such a special grandmother.
In addition to teaching the importance of prayer, Nanny Mozelle also instills the importance of family history to me. My cousin, Tommy Dove, helped her create a family tree and we all have a copy of it, along with a brief written family history. This is something I would have likely never taken the time or effort to do, but it is something that I am glad to have. I can look at the family names and read about the lives some of my early relatives lived. It is interesting to see the paths these people took and how they parallel our lives today. There were farmers and teachers and even a few writers. It shows how much we are like our early ancestors.
My grandmother also brings to life many of those relatives I never met by telling me what they looked like and how they lived. She is quick to point out family resemblances my sister and I have to these people who lived before we were even born. This is also importanct in keeping family history alive. This is something that we don't often do, but it is something that is important.
My grandmother knows what is important in life and puts her priorities in the right order. God and family top her list, as they should. As Thanksgiving approaches, let's all put our priorities in order and thank those who encourage and inspire us.
Angela Gary is associate editor of The Jackson Herald and editor of The Banks County News.


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