West Unity 175th Year Historic Reflection Book


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(Book Intro – Summer 2009)

Over the past eight years I have officiated at several funeral services, and one main difficulty always develops whether I was close to the deceased or barely knew who they were in life, ‘How can I summarize an individual’s life to grieving family in a short thirty minute time period?’ Even if the departed only lived a short life, recapping their entire human existence in a small period of time is nearly impossible, and I have never walked away feeling like I did justice for the departed.

Through experience I have learned to pass this responsibility on to those that were closest to the deceased, encouraging them to celebrate and remember the departed over the hours, days, weeks, months and years to follow the service. I have encouraged mourners to learn from the successes achieved by the deceased, along with learning from their failures; that we should all apply these lessons to our lives so that we may improve who we are with our remaining time on earth.

In reviewing the vast history on the Village of West Unity, and attempting to give proper coverage via the pages of this booklet, many of these same feelings developed for me. How can our crew possibly do justice with only a few months to work, but still properly cover 175 years of history? How can we come up with enough advertisement revenue to print enough pages to adequately cover the history of this village and take a peak towards where the village and its citizens are heading in the future? After agonizing over this mindset I have finally had to rely on the previously stated concept, we simply cannot be completely successful, even if we spent decades preparing the book and had bottomless West Unity area businesses willing to advertise so we would not have a page count limitation. While we made every attempt to give adequate coverage to our little one-stoplight village, true historical reflection will take place at the August 175th Celebration, over future coffee talk, at family tables, during class reunions, family reunions, etc …

With that stated, I would like to be abundantly clear that though the village of West Unity is hurting today economically (as is the entire state of Ohio and most of the country), our small town is very much alive and moving forward. When reviewing the history of our village, we should not fall into the mindset that this area does not have a bright future and wish things were thriving the way that they used to back in the “good old days”, as struggles are nothing new to the residents of the village. Despite some extremely difficult historic times, forward progress has always continued for this small town. I am willing to bet if we could turn back the hands of time and sit down on a front porch with a cup of coffee and converse with some of the founding citizens who were proactive in the formation of our village, they would wonder why we were so interested in them? I am willing to bet they would be asking questions on what the future held for their village? I believe we should ask the same question; while learning from our past, we should certainly be more focused on the future, and making West Unity a better place to live down the road. If I still have the honor of serving as the publisher of the hometown newspaper, The Advance Reporter, during the publication of the 200th Celebration Booklet in 2034, nothing would please me more than to look back at the next 25 years and be in awe by the efforts made by the residents of this village. Roll up your sleeves citizens, let’s make the next 25 years better than the prior 175!

© 2012 – 2016, The Village Reporter and/or Associated Press (AP). All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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