As we end 2020, I think it is important to reflect on the challenges our community has endured this year.
Each of us has been impacted by the pandemic. We have sacrificed by forgoing activities and gatherings with people we care about, working in adverse conditions, changing our routines and accommodating and adapting to challenges.
While there have been so many hard, sometimes painful, things that have occurred, there are some bright spots that have emerged from these difficult times.
As I’ve watched our citizens, students and businesses forge through these uncharted times, I am in awe of what you’ve been able to do (and what you’ve refrained from doing, when appropriate) and am humbled and proud to serve as mayor.
Bowling Green is a resilient community and in times of peril, we have found ways to lift one another, to help those in need, and continue to move forward. Our local businesses, that I urge you to continue to support if you are able, have found new and creative ways to operate and stay open safely.
In a period of time when we had to physically isolate for safety we, as a community, were certainly not alone. As I reflect on this year, I am especially grateful for the community partnerships which have proven to be a significant reason we were able to meet the many challenges this year presented.
The students in our community — from preschool to college — experienced significant changes this year. I am thankful for the extraordinary efforts of the educators here, including those involved with the public schools, private schools and Bowling Green State University.
The list of people to praise and thank is exceptionally long as we are thankful for so many essential workers. I want to call attention to the work of those involved with public health, particularly Wood County Health Department and Wood County Hospital employees. You are to be commended for your hard work and dedication.
On a personal note, I want to recognize the dedicated city staff that have remained committed to serving our community and providing essential services.
The new year will certainly have its challenges but it is also a time for hope. I encourage you to be strong and safe as we close out this difficult year and join me in looking forward to, and hoping for, better days ahead.
(Aspacher is mayor of Bowling Green.)