Editorial: Honor the wall

southington-observer

On Monday, Oct. 24, the public is invited to take some time from their busy schedules to celebrate a collection of Southington High School graduates that have left a strong and enduring stamp on this world.

The Wall of Honor ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. at the entrance to the high school auditorium. Just a few feet from the ceremony, the Lady Knight volleyball team will be competing in a non-conference blowout. We wonder, which event will be better attended? What does that say about us?

Southington residents love our athletes, and we should. We love our robotics team, and they have given us much to cheer about. We love our marching band that has collected more titles than anyone. (Don’t forget Music of the Knight this Saturday.) Here’s a chance to honor the rest.

That’s what makes this Wall of Honor such a tremendous and unique event. The spotlight is always shining on athletes, teams, and marching bands, but we need to support those residents that don’t collect ribbons and trophies, too. It’s disheartening to see the Aqua Turf fill up each fall to honor athletes for their accomplishments when there is such a lack of support for events like these. When it comes to support, it shouldn’t be a matter of “either-or.” It should be “both.”

Perhaps it’s because bands and teams have such active booster clubs and committees, while Bob Brown has almost single-handedly juggled this event, along with the nominations, research, and awards. Part of the reason why these other ceremonies draw so much attention is because so many people are involved behind the scenes.

This year’s ceremony will honor two fallen soldiers—Williams Beard and Clement Dupuis—who gave their lives during the Vietnam War. It will honor a world-class musician—Andrew Gutauskas; a celebrated attorney—Kathy Hopko; a distinguished pediatric doctor—Alexandra Smith; and a college professor—Philip Thibodeau.

We urge people to turn out and celebrate their accomplishments. Shake Bob Brown’s hand for all of his work. If the mission is important to you, ask Bob how you can get involved next year to grow it. We hope to see you there.

A great example of ‘free’ speech

We felt priviledged to be a part of the recent candidate forum at the library, and we applaud the event’s sponsors, Southington Public Library executive director Susan Smayda and Greater Southington Chamber of Commerce executive director Elizabeth Hyatt. It truly lived up to its hype as a free non-partisan forum between candidates and town residents.

The library has done a great job this election season to help build an informed electorate and strip the rancor and division that usually happens during the election cycle. From their political book discussion series last spring to this inaugural forum, the library has shown why it is such an important part of any community.

Kudos to all the candidates that fielded questions and kept the finger pointing to a minimum during the discussion. We thank them all for taking time from their busy election season schedules to mingle with the crowd afterwards where some of the best discussions always happen.

We were most pleased that the discussion centered on Southington, not politics.

We hope this was just the start. We hope that the library and chamber continue to host events like these and continue to grow them for future election cycles.

Leave a Reply