I want to thank Joe Cave, Jan Lane, Debbie Thomas, Nancy Gilman, Brian Clark, Rene King, and Sally Gillespie for all the hard work they have done for our community. Their hard work on the Winyah Bay Heritage Festival, Georgetown County Museum, Wooden Boat Show, Brookgreen Gardens, Miss Ruby's Kids, Swamp Fox Players and other activities is most appreciated.
All the thankless hours they have spent have made a big difference in many of our lives. It is so fortunate for us to have these “worker bees” making the City of Georgetown and Georgetown County a better place for both tourists and residents.
They have all also served on the Architectural Review Board under most trying times. I might mention that they are unpaid volunteers who are very knowledgeable of the rules and regulations of the Historic District, and understand why they should be properly applied. Their actions have been done openly, honestly, and with dignity.
Georgetown is under an umbrella of national historic regulations which are supervised by the state. A lot of people have worked many hours to get us designated "Historic Georgetown" and there are guidelines that have to be followed in order to keep that designation. If we start losing our old homes we will be putting our Historic District and our city in jeopardy of being stripped of one of the keys to our community identity. That would mean that we would be Georgetown without one of the components that draw many tourists and provide our residents with many fine downtown businesses.
When we lose our downtown businesses, we will be like every other small town in South Carolina, with boarded up buildings and homes that have lost much of their value. We would be back in the 50s and 60s, a time I well remember, when you could fire a canon down the middle of Front Street on any given Saturday without fear of hitting anyone.
It took a lot of people and a long time to put us where we are, and it could take only one person to destroy our current lifestyle. Some of those named above have served their time on the ARB and have moved on, but I am sure they would be more than happy to serve again, if there is a need.
Let me go one step further. Former city councils, mayors, and administrators worked hard and took the initiative to bring us into the twenty-first century, and I am sure that Mayor Scoville and the current City Council are very much aware that if we lose our Historic District, what will happen to our town.
I could not possibly name all the wonderful people who spend hours in the background but I felt like the people I have named have come under unjustified attack lately and some people are unaware of the damage that may come from this..
Veterans Day duty
I am so grateful to my fellow veterans for their sacrifices in preserving our cherished freedoms. American men and women have answered the call to duty many times when freedom has been challenged in the world.
Many veterans are unsung heroes. Army and Navy women nurses were held as prisoners of war of the Japanese. Many prisoners of the Japanese were transported in barbaric conditions aboard "hell ships" and used as slave labor. The Tuskegee Airmen, both pilots and ground crews, are among many African American war heroes. Women Auxiliary Service Pilots (WASP's) ferried war planes from factories to air bases. Veterans of the Korean War served in a war often called the "Forgotten War." Veterans of the Vietnam War have an expression, "All we had was each other." Many Americans don't know that Colonel Matt Urban, USA was the most decorated soldier of World War Two.
Citizens can honor veterans by attending Veterans Day parades and ceremonies. Consider volunteering at a VA medical center or nursing home. Donate to veterans charities. Hold a food and clothing drive for needy veterans. Assist unemployed and homeless veterans. For information contact a veterans organization or a county veterans service officer.
Remember some gave all, all gave some. Welcome home returning veterans with respect and honor. Don't let them and their families be forgotten. Veterans have paid the price to preserve the American way of life.
For God & Country,
Greg Bennett is Commander of the Andrews American Legion Post 69 and a USAF veteran.
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