Tragedy struck our area this week and put us in the national spotlight. Eight people lost their lives in a fire at Jackson County Park.

As always, the sadness, tragedy and heartbreak brought a community together. We may have our flaws, but there is one thing for certain: when tragedy strikes, this community responds.

There are so many to mention such as KC’s BBQ, who served as headquarters and fed victims and first responders.

“It’s not about us,” said KC’s owner Kasey Sanders. “It’s about the victims and their families and the first responders who have played a big role.”

Businesses throughout Scottsboro came through as well, bringing food.

Scottsboro Fire Chief Gene Necklaus and EMA Director Paul Smith have been there from the beginning, pushed to the spotlight and handling it with much dignity.

Fire fighters, deputies, police officers and others were there, helping victims and doing whatever necessary.

All those first responders are human. And as Sheriff Chuck Phillips says, “it affects everybody different.”

Phillips has been in the police business 40 years and seen a lot, a lot of pain and suffering.

“During you have to overlook your emotions and do your job,” said Phillips. “There is time to be emotional later.”

Such as getting the job done and going home to cry.

Those images never go away. We are blessed to live where we do. We are blessed to have the firefighters, police officers, deputies, rescue squad members and more that do what they do on a daily basis.

Our story that made national headlines is a sad one. The rally that followed is a proud one.

We live in a great community.

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