Monday, October 5, 2009

today's Daily Local News opinion article

Finish Line of the Marshalton Triathlon which benefits the West Bradford Fire Company

celebrating a great place to live, Chester County, this is the Daily Local News editor's opinion article in the Monday Oct 5 edition

"After a sweltering August and the typhoon that was September, October has burst upon us in a surprisingly glorious swirl of leaves and festivals, leaving us to wonder where the end of summer went.

This weekend's fresh autumn air provided some inspiration to stop, take a deep breath and appreciate our community.

Thousands of people attended events such as Chester County Day, the RotoFest and the Marshalton Triathlon. Our pages this weekend carried stories about the Burgesses, a couple who volunteer with Habitat for Humanity; an event where more than 200 people honored community leader Emma Valenteen; residents speaking about the difference made by the organization Good Neighbors, which repaired their homes; 100 quilts crafted by hand for troops overseas; and community members participating in efforts to treat and cure childhood cancer and multiple sclerosis.

True, there is also crime, some of it bizarre, and politics, some of it divisive. And some question the motives of even those who do good.

But on a weekend like this one, where, for instance, some might see tension on the corner of Gay Street and High Street in West Chester as groups of opposing political sentiment demonstrate, we look a little deeper and also see civic engagement.

We see generosity in the homeowners who deal with the stress of opening their homes to hundreds of strangers in an event that benefits a hospital. And we're grateful to those who dealt with the frustration of closed roads in order for an event that benefits a fire company to continue.

People of opposing opinions often butt heads, and it's sometimes difficult to remember that most of us have many fundamental values in common. We love our families and our friends, we value safety and prosperity, we want the opportunity to do meaningful work, and we often feel responsibility and gratitude to society.

Chester County is home to such a wide range of many talented, often opinionated people who feel strongly about the way things are done in their communities. This weekend was a serendipitous celebration of what we all care so much about."

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