We Are Batesville

Batesville — J. Stephen Conn/Flickr

I grew up in Batesville, AR. I think about that every time I hear the song Small Town by John Cougar Mellencamp. Batesville is a small town.

I learned a lot about values, work and relationships there.

Batesville has gone through a transformation in recent years. We are not what we once were.

But, we are still strong.

This is my home town.

We believe in each other and we celebrate each other. We also feel each other’s pain.

We all felt that pain in September of 2001.

You remember the month, right?  Our country was going through chaos.

That was the month that cowards decided to hijack multiple planes and murder thousands of innocent people. They succeeded.

Their purpose, as I understand it, was to cause fear.

Sara Low and her friend Mark
Sara Low and her friend Mark

They did not succeed.

They failed because of people like the ones that live in Batesville, AR.

You see, they took a piece of us. They took one of us. They took one of our daughters, one of our sisters, one of our classmates, one of our friends and one of our residents. Sara Low.

No I cannot forget where it is that I come from
I cannot forget the people who love me
Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town
And people let me be just what I want to be —  John Cougar Mellancamp, Small Town

She was gorgeous.

She had the most mesmerizing smile. She had the beauty and grace of her mother and her sister and the toughness of her father.

What I remember about Sara was, that in spite of the fact that she was pretty and a cheerleader, she was a track athlete. And she was good.

Sara was from Batesville. She was one of us.

We mourn her loss.

And, we take issue with those who want terrorize Americans.

Our city remembers her often.  We have a 5K run in her honor.

We are Batesville.