The Duncan Banner

Opinion

August 25, 2013

Help others share our pride

DUNCAN — More than two years ago, our family made a decision to move to Duncan from Madison, Miss.

 It was, admittedly and perhaps selfishly, at my urging since I had lived here throughout the decade of the 80s and had found the experience remarkable and refreshing, both personally and professionally.

It was a good decision then.

It remains a good decision today.

Horrific events of the past week – the fatal and senseless shooting of a collegiate baseball player from Australia – don’t change that.

Duncan retains it reputation as a classy community, one stronger and better than a single incident orchestrated by young, aptly named “thugs”  who callously ended a young man’s dream, shattered his girlfriend’s future and twisted us all into a startling world of anger, disbelief, shock and sadness.

An innocent Christopher Lane deserved far better than that deathly fate on Country Club Road.

So, too, does our city.

Duncan, I told Julie and Grant as we considered our move, is a delightful place to call home, a small self-contained community recognized for its class and envied for its commitment to rising above similarly sized areas, to embracing a can-do spirit and creating a quality of life linked to excellence.

I mentioned well-kept neighborhoods, beautiful homes, good schools, a degree-granting branch of a regional university, supportive churches, an innovative and modern library, an incredible local hospital with impressive and diversified ancillary services, a specialized children’s health clinic, a workforce-driven technology center, a recreation, aquatic, meeting and theatrical facility the equal of any in the southwest, a tree-lined park that is home to a volunteer community band, a historic downtown, a championship golf course, historical museums and other amenities likely to please.

I shared with Grant, then an eight-year-old, the charm of a centrally located amusement park, the 100-year-old elementary school previously attended by his older brothers, storied Halliburton Stadium, Friday night football, youth programs, a multi-faceted sports complex and the one-of-a-kind indoor pool, gymnasium and exercise facility.

But more than places and things, I told them they would most enjoy meeting my friends, making their own friends, building new relationships, getting involved in a variety of activities and having the opportunity to help make a good community even better.

In a world full of takers, I said Duncan has many givers.

It was easy to list an arms-length long collection of worthy causes supported by our people, to cite endless examples of charitable work that aid those less fortunate, to note the presence of agencies and organizations here solely to address needs and concerns and to recognize efforts to build unity in our community by seeking ways to maintain a get-it-done spirit and attitude that has always been our trademark.

None of that has changed.

Duncan is the community I told them to expect.

We are not perfect, not without flaws, not without opportunities to improve..

Recent years have caused us to be more blue collar than white. Our conservative nature has embraced more Republicans than before. And our retail service segment has been altered by economics over which we’ve had little control.

But the core fiber of our beloved Duncan, America, remains solid and sturdy.

Through no fault of our own, we have been slapped by an isolated heinous act, the likes of which we have rarely imagined much less seen. We have been thrust in the middle of global politics and sensitive issues sharpened by competitive differences in culture, opinion and emotion.

We have been given a moment in the spotlight, the chance to properly respond, to set an example and perhaps to even bring a sense of normalcy to what has become a complexand compelling situation.

Let us meet the challenge and rise above any obstacles.

Let us continue working together to ensure our community truly reflects our values, our respect for life and our commitment to each other as we combat rumors and attempts by those who don’t know us to tarnish a reputation many worked so long and so hard to pridefully develop and project.

Duncan, I told Julie and Grant, was a marvelous place to call home.

It still is.

edarling@duncanbanner.com

580 255-5354, Ext. 130

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State Rep. T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton
U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Edmond
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Former State Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso
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