Best ever, as always
It may not have been witnessed by the biggest crowd on record, offered the longest parade ever (though it came close), or featured more events than in previous years. But Saturday’s Old Settlers Day once again proved to be the best ever.
It wasn’t the festivities themselves that made it that way, though they were pretty decent in their own right. It was the constant reminders, embodied in every handshake and embrace with alumni, friends, and acquaintances not seen in 5, 10, or more years that made the day.
Right now, Marion needs all the love it can get, and it proved that it has retained its former residents’ hearts in spades. Sure, there was concern, expressed by nearly every graduate encountered. But their love of the town, their memories of how it always has strived for greatness, and their confidence that good will conquer evil were as buoyant as any vessel on our town’s two lakes.
Some wrongly deride Marion as a hick town rife with corruption. But that’s the glass half empty. The glass half full is that Marion is where misdeeds that go undetected in countless other communities are exposed and dealt with.
It’s time to put away shame and begin taking pride in a community that can come together to make a fresh start, jettisoning the bullying, power elites, and secrecy that shroud far too many other towns.
That’s the spark that Old Settlers would have hoped to leave with us. It’s up to us to kindle it into a torch of truth and justice, so we become not a dark corner but a shining example for other towns.
— ERIC MEYER