To Capt. Morgan: A heartfelt thanks

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 30, 2003

How does one measure the worth of an individual’s life?

Capt. Billy Morgan will clean out his desk this week. He’s retiring after 32 years with the Selma Police Department. For most of those years, Morgan was assigned to the Youth Aid Division. As such he often made the rounds of area schools, giving presentations and educating our children against the twin dangers of drugs and violence.

Billy Morgan believes those presentations were important because he believes that if a child is exposed to enough positive influences early enough, it can change the course of that child’s life. &uot;Up until about the third grade,&uot; Morgan says, &uot;children’s minds are like a sponge. They absorb everything. That’s why it’s important to reach them early.&uot;

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And reach them he did. By his own reckoning, Morgan has made 1,700 such presentations over the years. That’s a lot of lives influenced. Morgan says it was not uncommon toward the end of his career for him to encounter a parent or teacher at one of his presentations who confided that they remember hearing him speak when they were a child.

Billy Morgan will never know how many of the children who heard him speak took his message to heart. He will never know how many lives he touched for the better.

But this much seems certain: He may not have reached them all, but he reached as many of them as he could in a lifetime dedicated to the service of others. And for that, we as a community are grateful.

How does one measure the worth of an individual’s life?