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OPINION — Honoring some of our heroes

Inside this edition of The Charlotte Gazette we take a look at some of the superheroes in our community.

We are fortunate to live in an area with people who perform remarkably on a consistent basis and regularly give of themselves to help others.

These individuals do not have the powers to run faster than the speed of sound, fly in an invisible jet or turn green and gain super human strength when they are angry. Their super powers of caring for those around them are much more useful to us as a society than someone who can divert a stray asteroid or battle a gigantic sea monster.

What was interesting in talking to those chosen for this project was their humbleness. Although they all had great stories of self-sacrifice and using their unique abilities to help others, to a person, they all insisted it was just another day at the office for them. For the most part, they did not think they were doing anything special. It was just naturally what they do.

The section is appropriately called “A Salute to Community Heroes,” but many of those we talked to do not consider themselves heroes at all. They are just regular people doing extraordinary things.

This is just a sample of the good work we see in the communities we cover every day. We were able to feature 18 people in our community who make it their job to help people every day. There are surely hundreds more we could have included. These are certainly not the Top 18 people, just a sampling of those in our community who do good work every day to keep us moving forward.

During this pandemic, we have seen our frontline workers take on additional responsibilities and burdens as they worked to help keep the community safe. EMTs faced many more issues with protecting themselves and others at the height of the crisis. Almost every segment of our society was affected. The grocery store workers who stock the shelves each night went from someone we never really thought about to a crucial part of the supply chain.

Nurses and health care workers faced great stress. While many of us learned to work at home, or had to find new jobs due to the economic upheaval caused by the pandemic, health care workers faced long hours working to save those afflicted with the coronavirus.

As Hampden-Sydney College Health Director Barbara Kiewiet de Jonge said, everyone who experienced the COVID-19 pandemic comes away with a story. These are some of their stories.

There are many more out there waiting to be told.

Roger Watson is editor of The Charlotte Gazette and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. His email address is Roger.Watson@TheCharlotteGazette.com.