Community steps in

Published 8:54 am Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Last Thursday, residents in Lawrence County and the surrounding area awoke to news of an unspeakable horror, learning of the murders of four people near Decatur Township, including that of an eight-year-old boy.

As the details of the case begin to surface, many wondered how any person could commit such acts and were left at a loss by the senselessness of it all.

While darkness may have descended on the area on Wednesday, in the following days, amid the appalling news, there were examples of the power of the human spirit and the goodness of the people in our region.

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As trying as these times are, as songwriter Leonard Cohen once said, “There is a crack in everything.  That’s how the light gets in.”

Police and law enforcement showed their dedication to the community and the pursuit of justice in their relentless effort to find the suspected killer and bring him to justice.

Those personnel were supported and thanked for their efforts in the support they received at the command post set up near Decatur Township, where residents dropped off food and supplies and did their best to provide for their needs as they went about their duties.

On Friday, the Rock Hill community came together in support of the family at the heart of the tragedy, with a moment of silence and the release of balloons at the school district’s football game, while, at the same time, donations were collected for the family’s expenses.

And this support was not limited just to the Rock Hill community where the crime occurred.

Donation drives took place at the Ironton-Coal Grove game and at Fairland High School, as people contributed, hoping to ease, in some way, the burden faced by surviving family as they bury their loved ones.

And the tributes extended to outside Lawrence County. At Oak Hill High School in neighboring Jackson County, students released balloons in the red and white colors of their rival athletic school, showing their solidarity with those in the Rock Hill district and Decatur.

Whether it is a large gathering offering support, an individual thanking a member of law enforcement or a person offering words of comfort to another, great acts are made of many smaller deeds.

It is a testament to the values of the region that, as overwhelming as this week has been, there are so many who, without a second thought, do what is in their nature and try to help.

It is our wish that the sum of all of these deeds can at least ease some of the suffering of the past week and give renewed hope and faith humanity to those who need it in this hour.