We have it all, and we are shortsighted and foolish when we believe otherwise. Yes, there is crime. Yes, there is poverty. Yes, there is strife. But has the candle of hope for these problems been extinguished? Absolutely not!
We have history – a deep one that is rich with prosperity, conflict and redemption. It has been cyclical, but overall we are moving forward as a community – the most important word we can use toward one another. We are where our roots are, the Savannah River, because that’s the reason Augusta and surrounding areas exist in the first place. Let us not forget this great landmark, and continue to focus on this particular origin of our city.
There is important and valuable dialogue every day about the issues we care about – Savannah River Site, Columbia County vs. Richmond County, entertainment, education, Georgia Regents University, politics, the Augusta National Golf Club, Fort Gordon, etc.
Even if these are not specifically about downtown, it doesn’t have to be a direct conversation and effort. We can’t direct our resources completely evenly at all times for the betterment of our community. Nevertheless, we can continue to keep an open dialogue and an open mind to the opinions of our neighbors in this community and others. Concerted efforts are happening, and patience is worth the wait (a hard lesson learned for people ages 20 to 30).
I am excited about the future of Augusta because we, as a community, are a beacon on the hill, just as we hope our country can be to the rest of the world. On this Fourth of July holiday, please celebrate not only our independence, but also our united vision after it was obtained. We owe it to ourselves, our neighbors and our community.
Peter Menk III