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Today is December 3, 2021

Editorial

Thanks for all you do

By Michael Callahan

Michael Callahan
Michael Callahan,
Executive Vice President/CEO
EPAs of Mississippi

November is a month of thanks.

Of course, we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday during November, but the month also marks another occasion that inspires gratitude: Veterans Day.

Veterans Day is always on Nov. 11 — the day World War I ended.

Veterans Day is the date we set aside to honor the men and women of this country who wear the uniform and serve — both past and present.

In Mississippi, serving in the U.S. military is a custom that goes back hundreds of years. For some, it’s about family tradition. For others, it’s about patriotism.

Although we have a specific day dedicated to it, we know every day is Veterans Day in Mississippi, and for those who served, we are thankful.

While November reminds us of the Mississippians who volunteered to serve their country, Today in Mississippi tells the story this month of a small town that sacrificed more than the average community.

D’Lo in Simpson County had more men volunteer and fight in World War II per capita than any other city or town in the country.

If you haven’t visited the D’Lo World War II memorial in town, you should take some time to make the drive.

Speaking of being thankful, we received a letter from a south Louisiana woman thanking Mississippi’s electric cooperatives for sending help to restore power after Hurricane Ida swept through the state in late August.

 

Here’s the letter from Mary Schmidt of Destrehan, Louisiana:

“As a victim of Hurricane Ida’s fury, I want to take a moment to let the Mississippi cooperatives know what it feels like on our end when the calvary arrives. Two weeks without power is sustainable as our hardy resolve is strong, but after 21 days, desperation seeps in. The parade of stately power trucks rolling into the neighborhood brought tears to the eyes and a salute of respect.

Mississippi crew members were polite, respectful of our property, and reassuring. Our pole took three days to remove and replace, which included hand digging a 7-foot hole through sand and clay out of an abundance of caution for the underground wiring.

We thanked them with endless bottles of water and energy drinks, topped off with evening meals of jambalaya and red beans and rice after each day of grueling work.

Linemen have earned a spot at the top of the list of heroes of the storm.”

 

Mutual aid and cooperatives assisting other cooperatives in times of crisis is part of what we do for our members and members in other states.

In the case of Hurricane Ida, we had cooperative linemen work to restore power in their own areas before helping other Mississippi cooperatives restore power in their areas. After that, many of our linemen volunteered to go to Louisiana to bring the power back to residents hardest hit by Ida.

So, as we sit at the Thanksgiving table this year, let’s remember to thank the military veterans and our cooperative employees who work hard to comfort all of us in times of crisis before they even serve their own families.

That is the definition of sacrifice, and for that, Mississippi’s electric cooperatives say thanks.

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