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Our Indomitable Spirit

We are fortunate to have a great group of local ministers and clergy who start each of our formal Fremont County Board of Commissioners meetings with a brief prayer.

Tuesday’s prayer from Tom Kilgore of the Connect Church especially hit home for me.

He started by praying, “Thank you for the indomitable spirit of the citizens of Fremont County, as we end one year and look forward to another. Success is surrounding us and is on the horizon, as well.”

The New Year is the perfect time to ponder what that means, and how it reflects on all of us. Because the people of our shared community truly are incredible.

We come together in a crisis. Rather than meekly folding inward and choosing sorrow, we bravely look outside of ourselves to offer what help we can. We step up. We love each other well.

Fremont County citizens come together in a crisis. We have had more than our share of catastrophes over the past few years; floods, fires, extreme drought, blizzards, and more. I used to joke that all we needed was a good plague to check all the Biblical boxes for disasters, but almost two years ago we also were hit with that particular strike of lightning.

I didn’t realize how close I came to inviting disaster. It wasn’t funny, and I’ll never say that again.

But the COVID-19 crisis did open my eyes to just how invincible and steadfast we are as a community. Together, we’ve got this.

Throughout the recent health crisis, I’ve seen folks step up to help others in ways I’ve never imagined. We support each other in every way possible.

We eat out more to keep our local restaurants open, even placing to-go orders when we couldn’t dine in.

We shop local to keep our stores afloat, finding gems we never imagined were hidden here in our own backyard.

We find ourselves shopping for groceries to deliver to our more frail neighbors who are afraid to venture out on their own.

We originate new social media sites devoted to helping each other through the rough times.

But the fact is, our spirit far surpasses our response to the pandemic.

This strength of character doesn’t end! In every harmful, sad or negative situation, someone is there to lend a helping hand.

Most recently, the fierce winds that shook all of Colorado didn’t shake the Fremont County spirit. Neighbors were chasing trash cans and trampolines down the street; strangers were offering to fix downed fences to hold in pets and livestock; others were offering cold storage or food preparation when the power was out.

Like Mr. Rogers said, scary things happen. He said when he was a child, his mother told him, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

That’s Fremont County in a nutshell. And it’s only one reason I love my home community so very much.

To all of you helpers, thank you. Thank you for your indomitable spirit, your optimistic attitude, your eager willingness to help. You do not go unnoticed or unappreciated.

You make us all proud.

Debbie Bell is the District 2 Fremont County Commissioner.