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Halls of Fame honor communities’ history

Our local communities have a wide and varied history, from the days of their early settlements, leading through the numerous staple businesses and into the modern age.

During that time, there also have been many individuals who have taken the lead in shaping our villages, towns and cities, becoming cornerstones of society and shaping a path for many years to come.

Whether through business, education, community service, sports or other areas, we have all known someone who has served as an inspiration for others, and several of our communities work to honor those citizens.

Among those efforts has been the creation of several halls of fame.

Some of our towns, and even a few of our educational institutions, have founded such halls to recognize individuals who have made an impact, often citing accomplishments throughout the person’s life as well as their civic contributions.

Each hall has its specific requirements, setting up a need to have lived in a community for a certain amount of time, to go above and beyond in their work of serving others, to make lasting contributions to the fabric of their school or community, and much more.

Most of these halls have inductions each year, with the inductee or a representative recognized during a dinner or similar service.

Weirton, for example, currently is seeking nominees for this year’s induction class, with a ceremony slated for later this year.

Previous classes have included educators, athletes, former mayors, long-standing businessmen, media personalities and well-known volunteers.

Some local schools recognize alumni who have excelled in their lives and careers following their graduations.

These types of institutions are an important aspect of our area, and any area for that matter.

Much like museums, history books and other recordings, halls of fame are a way to chronicle our past, recognizing the men and women who have been the building blocks or a particular region.

If you look at any hall of fame, whether for a town, a school or a professional sport, you have an opportunity to look back in time at those who have come before.

You see those who have laid the foundation and been honored for paving the way and inspiring others to take up the torch and lead the way for the people of today.

We learn about their accomplishments, their own inspirations and their lives outside of their particular field of focus.

We have a chance to know more about how a community, school or sport may have been in years’ past, with industries or businesses that may no longer exist, rules which may no longer be in effect, or special events.

It is an opportunity to see what has come before and what can be in the future.

It honors those who have come before, and serves as a reminder once we’re all long gone.

We all know someone who has done something outstanding, and halls of fame are the perfect way to recognize them.

So, when an opportunity arises to showcase those individuals, I encourage our residents to nominate them.

They may not get in on the first ballot, but keep on top of it. Continue to nominate those who have inspired you, and provide a way for them to continue doing so for generations to come.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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