by A.F. Mayor Marc Beitia
If you were in town on Aug. 3, last Saturday, you most likely experienced what was in my memory one of the best American Falls Days ever. If you were present for the parade you saw the lead American Falls Police vehicle at the front of the procession honoring the 35 years of dedicated service of Lieutenant Larry Jones of the AFPD. It is a rare thing for anyone to dedicate 35 years of their lives to anything, let alone something as stressful and tasking as law enforcement.
While we were all enjoying conversations with family, friends and new acquaintances at the American Falls Days festivities two more mass shootings took place here in America and nearly 30 lives were snatched from the future. It seems no place is immune to such heinous acts. As the news from El Paso, TX, came across my phone during the parade I thought more about the 35 years of service lived by Larry Jones and all the women and men in blue. It is a seemingly impossible task they have dedicated their lives to. As I woke to write this Sunday morning I saw another mass shooting had taken place in Dayton, OH.
It gives me great pause and concern as I think about the general tone of our politics today, the prevalent disregard for human decency and the ease at which life is taken from us.
Friends and neighbors, we have to be better than this. We are better than this. Aren’t we? Regardless of one’s religious beliefs a common sense approach to right and wrong would dictate that we must do better by our fellow man. As the men and women in blue work 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year to help ensure that some moral code is adhered to it remains an often thankless and disheartening task.
We are fortunate in American Falls to be served by some of the finest people I know and while we have been spared the worst of what today’s society may offer I guarantee that the threat is always present in their minds. While I have very little to do with it I take a great deal of pride in the efforts of all of our police officers and law enforcement personnel here in American Falls and commend them on their continued dedication and service to the greater good; for each of us.
Thank you Larry Jones, my friend, for your 35 years of service dedicated to the greater good of us all who are fortunate enough to live here in American Falls. Because of you and others like you I am so proud to call American Falls my home. Thank you for helping to make it the very best place to live.
As this year’s American Falls Days was one of the very best it could not have happened without the dedicated volunteers from our local chamber of commerce. While the event is certainly supported by the city it is the chamber that sponsors it and makes such a wonderful event possible. My thanks also go out to all of you who made American Falls Days part of your day; your sense of community and fellowship also helps to make our city what it is.
If you ventured out to Willow Bay last Friday, Saturday or Sunday you would have also seen the Kyle Curry Memorial Softball Tournament. The tournament has also grown into a huge success in the years since Kyle was tragically taken from us. Twenty-six teams participated in this three day event dedicated to Kyle’s memory and raising scholarship funds.
This week, Aug. 5 through 9, is the Power County Fair and Livestock Sale. If you own a business or just want to support our youth it would be most welcome if you chose to participate in the sale Friday evening. I look forward to seeing you at the fairgrounds.
In closing I extend my condolences to the family and friends of Darrell Quinn. Like Larry Jones, the chamber of commerce and Kyle Curry, Darrell always found a way to help American Falls be a place we could all be proud to call home. In the words of City Clerk Robyn Herndon, “He was one of the good guys.”
Until next week…
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