Editorials

Telling the ones you love that you love them, even if it’s tough love for a community

Another proud product of this community, Buddy Ebsen, returned to Belleville on Oct. 12, 1992. He posed on the Public Square, where locals still are trying to determine right-of-way around the fountain.
Another proud product of this community, Buddy Ebsen, returned to Belleville on Oct. 12, 1992. He posed on the Public Square, where locals still are trying to determine right-of-way around the fountain. BND file photo

You can never tell your family too much that you love them. You can never tell them too much how much they mean to you.

What you see every day labeled “editorials” or “By the BND Editorial Board” may seem like something other than love letters, but in reality that is exactly what they are. Like notes from a parent in your lunch, they are daily reminders of how special you are and how you can be better.

Often these opinions were the result of reading “Madeline” to our children. We smile at the good, and frown at the bad. They have always been crafted by someone with deep roots in this community, many of us born and raised and who you once might have seen pedaling your neighborhoods to deliver the news.

Our business remains in transition, and opinion journalism is not immune. But as we mark this transition, and another of your old carriers pedals away, we couldn’t think of any topic more pressing than telling you all how much you are loved.

We love a community that tells you how to get somewhere by what was at that location 20 years ago. We love a community that still can’t figure out the right-of-way when driving around a fountain.

We love a community that gave us Uncle Jed Clampett, Jimmy Connors, Miles Davis, Uncle Tupelo, Noah Parden, Clint Walker, Les Mueller, Christine Brewer, Sandra Magnus and a host of other bright stars. We are proud to say we are part of the place that fostered them.

We love our friends at Scott Air Force Base. For more than 100 years, from the JN-4D “Jenny” to the KC-135, they have defended us and contributed to our character, often while sacrificing of themselves and their families. We love to see them in uniform and to anonymously pay their lunch tab. We love it when they stay. We wish them the best when they go.

We love that our prehistoric ancestors saw this as a place to thrive and build a great city. We love that even today we thrive from being that crossroads.

We love that we’ve done great things to harness one of the world’s largest rivers, but that it occasionally reminds us it remains a wild, living thing. We love what the Mississippi has done for our character, but less so what it’s done to separate us.

We love being united as Cardinals Nation and for being the stepping-off point for western exploration and then expansion. We love that we sparked the painful fight for freedom and then justice for our brothers and sisters. We love that we make useful things and that our rich land feeds the world.

But most of all, we love you. We love the work ethic, the premium placed on education, the yearning to do better, the optimism despite seemingly insurmountable hardship and the lessons in character we are constantly discovering through your example.

Home is where our heart is, and that is you.

Thanks.

Brad Weisenstein has worked for the Belleville News-Democrat for 32.5 years, the past three as opinions editor, writing on behalf of the BND Editorial Board. His employment ended Friday, and this is his final editorial for his hometown paper and web site.
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