Opinion

Our Voice: We’re thankful for all the awareness in October

Every month has some sort of designation. Many of these are frivolous. Three of the awareness campaigns in October, however, address issues that are widespread and there’s something we can do about them.

Domestic violence awareness

Domestic Violence is a problem that doesn’t discriminate by age or race. It’s not a plague that strikes only in the National Football League.

The Candlelight Vigil our local Domestic Violence Services of Benton and Franklin Counties holds brings the message home and is a sobering experience.

It includes lifesize cutouts representing those who have been killed by domestic violence in the Mid-Columbia. And that number grows every year.

This year’s vigil is 6:15-7 p.m. Oct. 30 at John Dam Plaza on George Washington Way in

Richland.

Statistically all of us know at least one woman who is in an abusive relationship.

Know the signs of domestic abuse and be prepared and willing to talk/listen to your daughter, mother or friend.

Let’s start conversations about relationships.

Breast Cancer Awareness

Perhaps when you think of October or see the color pink, you already associate it with breast cancer awareness. That is one campaign that has been very successful.

Perhaps it is because so many people are personally touched by this disease. You likely know someone who has or had breast cancer and, unlike domestic violence, you know who that person is.

It’s easier to fight the enemy when we see the victims.

No doubt that is an important element in any awareness campaign.

Disability awareness

Last week, students at Lewis & Clark Elementary in Richland were treated to a visit by a paralympian in recognition of Disability Awareness Day.

David Wagner is the No. 1 wheelchair tennis player in the world. He has medals from the 2012 London Paralympics and countless trophies from other events.

A couple of things about this story stand out on Thankful Thursday. One is how quickly a situation can change for anyone.

Wagner was paralyzed from the waist down at 21 while playing Frisbee on a beach.

He tripped in the surf.

Accidents like this could happen to anyone.

Another thought that comes to mind is not everyone’s disability is physically noticeable and, whether it is or not, it still takes effort to recognize someone’s limitations.

Some debate that the term “disabled” should be thought of as “differently-abled.”

October, and every month, is a good time to see past our differences.

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