My identical twin sons had to fight to live from the minute they were born. They were three months premature and weighed less than two pounds. The odds were not in their favor. A very wise doctor, a man of science and of faith, observed my struggle to accept their fate.
When things looked especially bleak, he offered me this: Science cannot explain will. Some children have the will to live. Those children beat the odds. Mine did.
South Carolinians exhibited that life-affirming will in 2015. We had the will to beat the odds. We faced adversity with grace. We refused to let hatred take hold when we lost fellow citizens, friends and family. Instead, we responded with love, a force that disarms the power of evil.
We had the will to remove a flag that stirred racial division; one that gave power to a cause for which honorable men fought, but a cause that was wrong. We lived through floods after a 1,000-year rainfall. We suffered loss, but it didn’t wash away our spirit of community or our willingness to be our brothers’ keepers.
We are a people of strong will, and a community of heroes. The title of this book came from a sentence in a beautifully composed letter from Kassy Alia, whose beloved husband gave his life this year as a police officer in Forest Acres.
We know there are heroes around every corner in our community – from athletes who delight and inspire to troops who protect our freedom. We find heroism among our teachers, our preachers, our volunteers and in the selfless acts of our neighbors.
This book is a tribute to the hero in each of you, and a remembrance of an unprecedented year of challenge and victory. A year when South Carolinians exhibited the will to beat the odds.
— Sara Johnson Borton, president and publisher of The State, the Island Packet and the Beaufort Gazette
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