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  Wednesday October 22nd, 2014    

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True Character (08/29/2007)
In difficult times you see true character - for individuals and communities. Over the past week and a half people from all over the country have watched and learned what the Winona area is all about.

Instead of giving up in the face of this terrible tragedy, people are moving ahead. There is an exceptional resilience and courage, a relentless attitude and a feeling that nothing can beat us down. News coverage has shown horrific backgrounds, but the people interviewed have shown strength of character, an underlying optimism and a clear focus on what is truly important in life.

Instead of walking away, people have embraced their neighbors. The people watching have noticed an uncommon feeling of community - people helping others. It started with neighbors alerting neighbors and neighbors pulling neighbors from homes and apartments. It has continued with the quick organization of local relief efforts and people willing to volunteer their time. So many businesses have given so generously to their community and their displaced employees. In a world so filled with "what's in it for me," our response has been "what can we do?"

Instead of saying it's someone else's problem, government at all levels has taken responsibility. Even though it would be impossible to prepare for this sort of catastrophe, the response from local, county, state and federal agencies has been extraordinary. While there may be a lack of experience locally, there has been no lack of effort or commitment, and it is clear that a major regret of the people who have done so much is that they haven't been able to do more.

We have many assets here in the Winona area, many of which we have been writing about for the past four months in Positively Winona. This flood has shown the country that the Winona area's greatest asset is the people who live here. Your true character makes this place special. You and your neighbors should be proud.

Mark Metzler is the Vice President of Marketing for Vision Design.

 

 

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