Inspiration is hard to come by at times. Even while writing an editorial, we might experience instances when we can hear the grinding of cricket legs. As our deadline approaches, we slump over a desk and wonder what we're going to write about, what will make a positive difference in Tyler County?
But this week, following the loss of one man who made a positive difference in both our county and the country, we did not have to go searching for something to write about. We knew not only what we wanted to write about, but also what we needed to say.
While we are saddened by the passing of Lieutenant Mark Doty of the Paden City Volunteer Fire Company, we are proud of the legacy he left behind, as well as the great representation he gave Tyler County. Hearing of just a few of his accomplishments, it is hard to believe that he was only 28-years-old.
Though gone so young, Doty leaves behind a legacy of service. He was and will continue to be an inspiration.
On the day of his service, firefighters arrived from local departments and even traveled from different states; before and after the service, they could be heard recanting tales of their lost brother. The connection he made with the people he came into contact with remains obvious, and the kinds of people able to form such bonds are the kinds who shine on long after they're gone.
It is important to mourn such losses, but it is equally as vital to take inspiration from the life that he lived. For the rest of us who didn't have a chance to personally know him, try to keep in mind that he and other firefighters (all servicemen in general) don't need to know the people they're helping in order to do what they do. They risk their own lives to save strangers, so even when they are strangers, we must keep them in our hearts and minds.
Meeting with and speaking with those in the Paden City Volunteer Fire Company who served alongside Doty, and hearing the great things they had to say about him, was an honor. Furthermore, it was an inspiration to see the love they had for their brother.
Just as much, we are proud of our community for the support and admiration conveyed following the loss of a local hero. Seeing the actions of our residents reminds us that we live in a special place.
It also reminds us of just how many lives the good actions of one person can touch. Lieutenant Mark Doty, thank you for your service.