The loss of two of Mobile’s greatest citizens will forever mark 2021. The year began with the death of Hank Aaron and ended with the passing of E.O. Wilson. Aaron was more than the home run king; he was a man who showed how to tolerate human division with grace. Wilson was more than the father of biodiversity; he was a man who showed how to pioneer the modern survival of our species. Both men, perhaps from the wisdom of Alabama humility, proved to be geniuses at life.
Ted Turner, the founder of global 24-hour news, teamed with both men and marked their passing as inspirational friends. Some kinds of men make us all humble and grateful to have witnessed such grace and greatness … all in one man, all in one place, all in one year.
In a time of human struggle, we find the truth in these examples of individual courage and are inspired to face a new year head-on. New citizens are with us, like Ben Raines discovering the Clotilda or Bill Finch protecting the Mobile delta. There is still time, as Ted Turner would say, to lead, follow or get out of the way.
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