Herald-Sun editorial: Week's end

Dec. 21, 2012 @ 04:57 PM

For the past several decades at least, newspaper coverage has been as much about photographic images as it is about words. The intersection of stories and photos is key to what makes newspapers and news coverage compelling. A picture often does do as much to tell a story as a thousand words might.

Charles Cooper, who started the photography department at this news organization and served to tell the community’s story through pictures, died this week at the age of 92. A photo gallery and a story serve as a fond remembrance of a man who contributed so much to the fabric of Durham and the surrounding region. His remarkable work speaks for itself.

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Urban Ministries of Durham held a vigil this week that took place in the cold of night, which is appropriate considering the subject at hand. The memorial service this week remembered 17 people who passed away this year, offering reflections on people who either were presently homeless or had been homeless at some point in time. One of those people was homeless in the past, had moved into an apartment, but had health problems related to homelessness and past drug abuse.

Others, though, “did die by themselves in the cold,” said Bryan Gilmer, director of marketing and development for Urban Ministries of Durham.

Those who gathered to reflect upon those lives lost, and all of those people who work to support the homeless people of our communities, have earned this week’s Herald-Sun Grit Award.

During the holidays, many of us think about those less fortunate, and people who have means to do so contribute what they can to make hard lives a little easier. Undoubtedly, this sort of reflection and giving spirit should happen all year long, and it does in many ways.

The individuals and agencies working to improve the lives of homeless people are doing wonderful work, and they deserve thanks and honor. It is difficult, taxing work, but also rewarding.

Reflecting upon lives lost is hard. It touches all of us. The good work undertaken to curb the ravages of homelessness continues.