By Helen Reynolds / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
Recently I had an inspiration to write about Meridian and what this city means to me.
I can't take credit for coming up with the idea myself. It came from a couple of moms I was talking to at a birthday party. One had lived here most of her life while the other mom had moved here about a year ago. Their perspectives were different, but they both had the same feelings for this place I call home. They both liked Meridian.
The conversation started me thinking about how others see Meridian. I had taken my hometown for granted. I never thought about how "outsiders" viewed Meridian. It's just another town in Mississippi.
But it's not.
Meridian is so much more.
So what is it that makes Meridian stand out and who are the people who live here?
Let's start with the logistics.
Meridian's population is around 40,000, give or take. It is the sixth largest city in Mississippi. It was established in 1860 and, in the early years, thrived as a railroad town.
But what about the people that make Meridian what it is today and what defines us from other cities?
We are a diverse group of people from all walks of life. Meridian is rich and poor, young and old and everything in between.
Meridian is NAS and Key Field, the MSU-Riley Center, Temple Theater and Meridian Little Theatre.
Meridian is the Dentzel Carousel, Merrehope and Bonita Lakes.
Meridian is Jimmie Rodgers, Hartley Peavey, Sela Ward and a ton of other celebrities.
Meridian is the Threefoot Building and Union Station.
Meridian is Anderson Regional Medical Center and Rush Foundation Hospital.
Meridian is Meridian Community College and MSU-Meridian Campus.
Meridian is football on Fridays and church on Sundays.
Meridian is soccer practice, dance recitals and school plays.
Meridian is Fourth of July fireworks and Christmas parades.
Meridian is State Games of Mississippi.
Meridian is fast food, small cafes and fine dining.
Meridian is a night on the town and a movie with the kids.
Meridian is Wal-Mart and great local businesses.
Meridian is The Meridian Star, WTOK and WMDN.
Meridian is doctors, lawyers, cab drivers, teachers, cooks, dancers, artists, writers, stay-at-home moms and working moms, preachers, postal workers, policemen and firemen, and yes, even the homeless.
Meridian is a close community. We love the ones who have always been here and welcome with open arms the ones who just moved here. If there is someone we don't know, we make it a point to get to know them.
Meridian is also very giving. We donate our time and money willingly to those who need it.
Meridian is neighbors looking out for other neighbors.
Meridian has it's problems, but so do other cities all across the United States. And despite those problems I still love this town and the people in it.
Meridian is where I grew up, where my roots are, where I live and where I want to stay.
I am proud to call Meridian my home.
We are not just people who live in Meridian, we are Meridian.
Helen C. Reynolds is copy desk editor at The Meridian Star. Email her at email@example.com.