11/03/05 — Heroes among us: Rosa Parks’ sacrifice an example of how to change a nation’s heart

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Heroes among us: Rosa Parks’ sacrifice an example of how to change a nation’s heart

She wasn’t anyone special, at least that’s what Rosa Parks told those who asked her about her decision that day so many years ago not to give up her seat on a public bus.

She was a woman who was tired of succumbing to a policy she knew was wrong — just a regular person who decided to take a stand.

Late last month, upon her death at age 92, we paused to remember her sacrifice and her courage — and to maybe remind ourselves that one person can make a difference, whether it is on a public bus in Montgomery, Ala., or as part of a community improvement project in Wayne County, N.C.

There were thousands of men and women, white and black, who took a stand for freedom and equality across this nation during the civil rights movement. They fought not against their country, but to point out what this nation could and should be, sometimes at great personal risk from those who disagreed with their stance.

They were all heroes.

There are many people who feel all the heroes are gone these days. They wonder if anyone really remembers the sacrifices from the past that paved the way for the freedoms we enjoy today.

That is why honoring Rosa Parks and the many other people who stood up for what they thought was right in the 1960s is so important. Remembering the struggle and sacrifices is how we continue to value the lessons learned and freedoms gained.

Rosa Parks is one of many thousands of Americans who have impacted this nation not only with regard to the issue of civil rights, but on many other concerns that have helped shape who we have become as a country.

And, hopefully, their example will push others to take an active part in their futures both locally and nationally.

A nation grows and prospers when its citizens care about and become involved with its progress and its conscience. The best way to honor the legacy of Rosa Parks and the thousands of other people like her is to be an active part of your community and nation.

One person really can make a difference if he or she cares enough to try.

Published in Editorials on November 3, 2005 10:59 AM