Local Pride

A LOT of pride is evident in Eastern Ohio, and that was shown in this week’s news.

Bridgeport Mayor John Callarik described the fountain at th intersection of the National Road and Ohio 7 as “the pride of Bridgeport.” Being at that intersection is especially noteworthy, because it involves two scenic highways – the Ohio River Scenic Byway and the Historic National Road Byway.

It’s unusual for two byways to meet in that fashion.

Another source of pride was mentioned earlier when a project dubbed “Martins Ferry Proud” was announced. A trash cleanup has been planned for June 27 with the hope that this will instill a new sense of pride in the city.

At that time, Martins Ferry Development Director Kathy Gagin said, “I truly believe that people need to be engaged with their community, actually have a stake in the game before any real social change can take place. And Lord knows we need that here in Ferry.”

Undoubtedly, this latest pride effort would have made the late Mayor John Laslo proud. It was during his administration that a contest was held to select a motto for the city, and the result was “The Pride of the Valley.”

And Laslo himself worked to instill pride. In addition to entering Martins Ferry in several national beautification contests, he worked to obtain millions of dollars to help Ferry residents as well as others in the area in such projects as housing, education, aging and youth programs.

WHEN PRIDE is mentioned, the old saying, “Pride goeth before a fall,” comes to mind. Probably, this is based on Proverbs 16:18, which reads, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

One must remember that there are several definitions for pride. Those in the two Eastern Ohio communities aren’t aiming for projects that will give them “inordinate self-esteem,” but are working for “something that causes a person or persons to be proud.”

Bridgeport and Martins Ferry aren’t alone in having pride in their communities. Work is underway elsewhere. For example, the porch restoration at the Belmont County Victorian Mansion Museum in Barnesville will help to instill pride.

Just as “faith without works is dead,” many area groups have pride that is resulting in vast improvements.


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