The level of cooperation and involvement in welcoming home the 1140th Engineer Battalion this week says a great deal about our community. Officials from Jefferson City were open in their praise of Sikeston residents for staging a homecoming like none other in this region.
But if you're a student of history, you realize that Sikeston residents can indeed combine their efforts if the cause is worthwhile.
Another example - though in a different area - is the excitement and involvement for the annual Kenny Rogers Children's Center telethon which is just around the corner. This communitywide event is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year having raised literally millions of dollars through the years to expand, equip and improve this local center. Name me one other community our size that can boast that level of achievement? You'd be hard-
pressed to match it anywhere in the state.
And in just one month, I am convinced Sikeston residents again will come together to approve a school bond issue to construct a new math and science center at our high school. This much-needed facility is generating excitement in every corner of the community. Once approved and completed, it will be a focus of pride for years to come.
Sikeston residents also rallied behind the movement for a Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority that promised to rid our community of some long-
neglected eyesores. The work of that group is showing visible signs of progress throughout the community. But it would never have been possible without the support, cooperation and involvement of city residents.
In fact, the list of such achievements is long for Sikeston. Residents here have a history and legacy of combining their efforts for civic improvement. But the first rule is - the cause must be worthwhile.
We all know of other communities where there is some bickering divide that separates the residents. That divide hampers any move for improvement and, in many cases, the problem only gets worse. But whether it's a bond issue or a telethon, a welcome home celebration or whatever, residents here show their true colors.
I, along with the rest of you, was extremely proud of our community this week. We combined our enthusiasm and our hard work to celebrate the return of Charlie Company. But this is just the latest in a long line of such combined support for a number of events and issues. We can truly accomplish great things when we put our heads together and work for a common cause. Let's hope that momentum and spirit continues in the weeks, months and years ahead.