The Covington News - - OPINION -

We re­ally have come a long way since the days when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. brought to the fore­front of the Amer­i­can dream the fact that all men are truly cre­ated equal.

Progress has been made, though, of course, progress is still needed.

We ran a front-page story this week about for­mer Bat­tal­ion Fire Chief Michael Turner, who will be hon­ored in a re­tire­ment cer­e­mony Jan. 30.

The fact that Turner reached the ma­jor mile­stone of re­tire­ment wasn’t the fo­cal point of the story. The fo­cal point was how Turner be­came the first paid black fire­fighter in the Cov­ing­ton fire depart­ment and how he broke through another bar­rier of that time pe­riod.

Just 37 years ago, in 1976, this racial bar­rier was bro­ken. Now as new men – and women – join the fire depart­ment, they are just that, men and women.

We are glad we are head­ing to the time when we are not count­ing the firsts.

The time of great men and women who helped push this coun­try for­ward is be­ing hon­ored now. Thanks to Turner and oth­ers who helped to pave the way, we can look for­ward to a day when a per­son of any color or gen­der is thought of only as a per­son who paid great ser­vice to our com­mu­nity, and not a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of their color or gen­der.

We salute re­tired Bat­tal­ion Chief Michael Turner. Your courage and ded­i­ca­tion to serve our com­mu­nity will be re­mem­bered in the proud­est of ways.

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