“Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.”
– President Barrack Obama, 2013
President Obama spoke those words during his second inauguration speech on January 21, 2013. It may seem like a small thing, perhaps even a passing note, but I would argue that to be mentioned and remembered, especially by the President, is important. And being remembered is something very important to Appalachia.
The War on Poverty in 1964 and the formation of the Appalachian Regional Commission in 1965 brought to the foreground the needs of Appalachia to the rest of the country. But over the decades, especially during this economical downturn, Appalachia has significantly dropped off the radar of nonlocals. So by having our President mention Detroit, the most well-known at-need urban community alongside Appalachia, people can easily make the connection that both are in need of service and both equally deserve attention from the rest of the country and our government.
We agree with the President words: “Together we resolve that a great nation must care for the vulnerable and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.” It is our task, as it has been for many generations, to ensure that Appalachia is cared for and that the needs of its families and communities are met and not forgotten.
To be mentioned even in a seemingly small way, is still a mention of our mission to fresh ears. If you are reading this, if you know of the needs of Appalachia, spread this post, and spread the news of the needs of Appalachia so that they are not forgotten.