Last words

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It was destined to happen. Nobody’s perfect. Right? But, I didn’t think it would be so soon. It was only my third week as managing editor, and there it was staring at me in the face. The last words of the New Year’s cover story, “Looking Ahead to 2013,” cut off. Halted in mid sentence. I felt terrible, especially since it was a wonderful quote by Town Manager, Ed Mitro, but it was an incomplete one and left readers hanging. The words were gone, but not forgotten as I have received several reminders in the last week. Print is so unforgiving, especially after more than 9,500 copies are run!

In case you missed it, let’s bring it to the forefront yet again. Here is Ed Mitro’s quote, “We don’t want to change who we are, we want … ” That was it. So, you are probably wondering, “We want ‘what’?” We want “to bring more business to Zionsville?” Maybe. That would be a good thing for a town manager to say. Or what about, we want “a new Walmart on Michigan Road?” No, I’m not touching that one, and I bet Ed isn’t either. Or what about, we want to “be more like Carmel.” No way. That’s definitely not it.

This whole exercise in pondering about the importance of last words reminded me of the last words of a person whose birthday we will be celebrating this Monday.

On April 3, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave a speech, his last speech, although he didn’t know it at the time. He reflected on where he’d been and where he was going with these eerily prophetic words, “Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land!”

The next day, April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed. He never made it to the Promised Land. Those were his last words.

By the way, Ed’s last words were, “We don’t want to change who we are, we want to be better at who we are.”  I completely agree.  So, do I!


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