On Tuesday, August 1st, Caroline County will celebrate the National Night Out from 5pm to 8pm across the county.
In 1984, a movement of community activists, organizers, and law enforcement put together a series of national activities know as The National Night Out. “2.5 million neighbors across 400 communities in 23 states” came together to advocate for our most basic liberty – freedom from violence and crime.
For 33 years, America has celebrated our National Night Out, where our youth and our law enforcement, our community watch, and our activists embrace the opportunity to come together in support of their communities.
In Caroline County, we live in a large, sparsely-populated area. The crime and violence that goes on here happens, not as much in communities as in the shadows of our rural roads, lit at evening by moonlight instead of streetlights. It is easy to imagine that our County is without sin. Couched between the wealth of Hanover and Spotsylvania Counties, we imagine ourselves immune to the violence of our nation’s inner cities and the troubles of poorer States.
The truth is, that Caroline County is large. It’s commuter population, which resides largely in the West-End of the County, may be immune to the effects of poverty that the rest of the county experiences daily, outside of its farms. However, the further away from I-95 you get in Caroline, the less opportunity you seem to have. I have streaming television and high speed internet, but that is more than you can say for Sparta and Dawn. I have 24/7 access to Google and the entire wealth of human knowledge, but there are families in Caroline County that don’t have running water, cable, or internet.
Today, thirty eight million neighbors in sixteen thousand communities across the nation take part in National Night Out.
The National Night Out is an opportunity to introduce your family to Law Enforcement and vice versa, in a nonthreatening environment. There will be events in “Belmont, Bowling Green, Lake Land’Or, Lake Caroline, Ladysmith Village, and Caroline Pines”, according to our county website. Looking at this schedule, I am appalled that Port Royal is no longer on the agenda – but hopefully this will be corrected in years to come.
It is easy to ignore events like these, but I would encourage everyone to attend regardless.
We live in a country where our State and National governments believe that we can be micromanaged from abroad. How is that working for families dealing with opioid addiction? How is that working out for families living in poverty? How is that working out for rural families with no access to internet, whose children compete with children in urban areas where internet and the wealth of human knowledge are readily accessible?
The truth is, that our governments are incapable of replacing our communities.
Next Tuesday, we have an opportunity to come together as a community – to form relationships on behalf of our security with law enforcement and with one another. Never doubt the effectiveness of friends and neighbors. Never doubt the importance of those who live in your county when it comes to making your county a beautiful and better place to live.
If you live in Ladysmith, Bowling Green, Dawn, Sparta, Carmel Church, Woodford, or Port Royal – bring your families to the National Night Out. You won’t regret it.