They shared them with me, and I posted them on Patch.
One community sharing a moment time zones apart.
We had another one of those moments late last week.
When I posted video of Danny Gonzalez's son being honored by City Council last week, I just figured he might hear about it from back home and catch the video in the coming month.
But Danny saw it last week—and he commented.
Daniel, I am so proud of you! You never cease to amaze me. Keep up the good work and I count the days that I can hold you and tell you in person how proud I am. I love you buddy.
Aside from all the emotion that comes in reading the words from "Dad," it's maybe the most telling comment I've ever read on Patch—it speaks about the value that this platform brings.
There are plenty of topics and articles and blog posts and chains of comments that highlight the frustrating nature of online communication.
But the comment from "Dad" is what Patch is all about—bringing your community to life online, and making life ridiculously easy for you and your neighbors.
Those are the two visions that drive Havre de Grace Patch.
Are there negative comments on articles? Yes—just like there is conversation around town that is fueled by negativity and anger.
Conversation on Patch mimics the conversation in Havre de Grace. It voices displeasure. It questions the norm. It lends ideas. It offers support. It articulates the love a father has for his only son.
As I buried my head in the sand and kept churning out stories and preparing coverage of this spring's election, I was hit with emails from both Sgt. and Mrs. Gonzalez that reminded me of how fortunate we are to be free enough to hold those conversations.
Elizabeth thanked me for allowing her husband to be included on the moment.
I had to email you to tell you how much I appreciate your work in covering Daniel's award presentation. You brought a very important part of my life out to me here in Afghanistan, which I would have missed if it wasnt for your dedication. I really miss my kids but its even harder when I miss events as such. Know that my family and I are very grateful. I am so proud of my Son! Thanks.
No, Sgt. Gonzalez. Thank you.
Thank you for serving your country, providing an invaluable role model for your son and for calling Havre de Grace your home.
And equally, thank you Mrs. Gonzalez, for admirably serving the under-publicized role of the military mom. Your kids are a reflection of your doubled efforts.
I'm thankful that our platform of sharing Havre de Grace online has provided an example of the good that online communication can bring to a community.
Continuing that quest, we'll be there in June with Sgt. Gonzalez when he returns safely home.
Until then, while he proudly flies the Susquehanna Hose Company flag in Afghanistan, it is with equal pride that we can use this platform call him one of our own—a Havre de Gracian.