Get ready, we’ve got company coming

Published 8:54am Tuesday, February 26, 2013

As mom would say, “we’ve got company coming.” In the case of this weekend’s Bridge Crossing Jubilee, we not only have company coming, we very well might have the entire world coming over.

Although it was the worst kept secret around town — a secret we honored and kept quiet until we were given the OK — this weekend’s visit by Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, will bring with them the magnifying glass that is the world’s media.

You see Vice President Biden does not travel by himself. He doesn’t do things in a vacuum.

What he does, what he says and where he goes receives a level of coverage — and scrutiny — second only to one other person, President Barack Obama.

Thirteen years ago, Selma fell under the glaring stare of the world when then President Bill Clinton came to the Queen City to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the events of Bloody Sunday.

So, the question is, what kind of Selma and Dallas County will the Bidens see on their visit? What kind of Selma and Dallas County will the rest of the world see during their brief stay?

What kind of reception will they receive from those who are so fortunate to call this part of the country home?

It is our hope, that those things we constantly fight about amongst ourselves can be put aside for this weekend.

It is important for Selma and Dallas County to show the rest of the world what we truly are. It is important that we show the rest of the world that we are an area with good, honest, people who want nothing more for ourselves and our children than safe streets, good schools and a chance to better ourselves.

We all know the warts that our community has. We talk about them quite often.

We have highlighted the chronic high unemployment levels and the sluggish retail growth.

Instead, this weekend, we should talk more about what Selma and Dallas County are and can be. We need to talk about the great opportunity for industrial growth at Craig Field, the development of the riverfront along the Alabama River and the revitalization efforts of some of Selma’s downtown buildings.

Already our city and county leaders are working on “prettying up the place” and will make sure the litter along U.S. Highway 80 through Selmont is cleaned up and that the flowers throughout downtown Selma are in full bloom.

But, the biggest thing our guests will take away from their visit will not be the images, it will be the experiences they have with those they meet, those they talk to and the things they hear.

Let’s make sure they leave here with a positive impression of the place we call home.

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