AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis released a letter to Augustans on Friday, addressing of the violent events locally and abroad during the past week.
You can read his letter in full below.
We are Stronger Together: A Letter for Every Augustan
by Mayor Hardie Davis, Jr.
As a fellow Augustan, I like many of you have experienced the highs and lows of a week that began with celebrating our nation’s Independence on July 4th only to have the excitement of vibrant fireworks, fun and fellowship brought to a screeching end by individuals who committed senseless acts of violence. Seemingly as things appear to return to normal or routine, there are those who want to relent to fear, those who say don’t come back downtown. These feelings are understandable and perhaps justified. But I submit to you that we cannot allow fear to rule the day in our community and keep us from being ONEAugusta.
Our country, like our city, is not perfect, but remains the best place to live, work, play and raise a family. Many of us watch the news daily and nightly holding our breath and with hope that the news of the day will somehow be good and be different. We are hoping to hear about people who are doing something that will make the ills of our society go away. Yet, the news of violence that seems to be crippling our country is always too close for comfort.
Our hearts mourn and we pray for those in Dallas, Orlando, Falcon Heights and Baton Rouge as they work through their investigations, their grief and come together for healing.
I, like many of you, look at tragic events that have taken place around the country and thank God that many of the challenges other communities are facing have not happened here.
Last week, many Augustans were terrified by the horrible event that took place at the River Walk. These things should NEVER happen. As we have seen, they do. Our response to the ignorance of others is not to retreat and hide, we must stand together and stand up against any and all violence in our community. I’m not suggesting that you to put yourself in danger or on the front lines of a battle. I’m asking you to stand. Stand against violence – in the street, in homes, in our schools. Stand for education – read in our schools, volunteer, mentor a student. Stand against poverty – support food banks, community resource agencies, create jobs. Stand with and for your neighbors. We all know it takes a village to raise a child. It takes the village to raise our community.
We must reflect on the kind of city that we want to build and the kind of community we want to leave for future generations of Augustans. Fear, bitterness and rancor must be rejected, in order to find solutions to how we can live together, work together, and enjoy July 4th together. When fear rears its head to divide us and keep us stagnant, our strength, power and progress is in unity and in love. Together, we must stand united as Augustans working toward the very ideal and goals of ONEAugusta. I believe that ONEAugusta is one where the community and law enforcement work hand in hand to eradicate evil and to provide for the safety of all our citizens.
Lastly, we must all be vigilant. If you see something, say something. We all have to do something, together. Commit. Renew our commitment to an Augusta that is stronger together. An Augusta where your strengths build my weaknesses and my strengths build up the weaknesses of another. The time for us to “take our city back” is now. It belongs to us, all of us, a safe, strong healthy and vibrant city begins with the work of each of our hands.