Monday brings worst fears, best memories

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

While the example of his life burns brightly in our minds, we need to find fitting ways to pay tribute to the memory of Scott Hoffman.

In some form -- either through a monument, an award, a scholarship or another appropriate means -- we need to come up with a lasting memorial to eulogize Scott and to create an inspiration for generations to come.

Because, in his 33 years of life, this dynamic young man showed us the importance of of getting involved, staying involved and remaining faithful to your family, your church, your job and your community.

Scott Hoffman did all that ... and much more. As you have already heard on radio and television and read on the front page of the newspaper, the search for Scott ended tragically Monday afternoon when his body was found by a diver in the Huck Finn Pond at Barnett Park.

With the discovery our worst fears were realized. While we mourn, we also give praise for the life Scott lived.

To give illustrations of how highly he was held in esteem, we offer two recent examples. First, following a recent speech which Scott gave on Sen. Ben Nelson's behalf, a member of the news media addressed Scott, "You are very well spoken and very focused on the issues. Would you consider running for office yourself?" Then, late in 2003, Scott was asked, privately, to consider entering his name in application for the director's position with the McCook Economic Development Corp.

In both cases, politely and humbly, Scott declined. "I'm where I want to be and I am doing what I want to do," is the best way to summarize his answers. He appreciated the opportunities, but remained dedicated, devoted and satisfied with the course his life was taking.

We don't find that kind of steadfast loyalty nearly enough in these times. You could see the love and respect for Scott shine through Monday evening in radio and television interviews with his good friend, Kerry Ferguson; the Gazette editor, Bruce Crosby; and Red Willow County Sheriff, Gene Mahon.

They were more than Scott's co-workers and officials with whom he worked. They were Scott's friends, as were so many others in this region, this state, and -- increasingly through his work with Sen. Nelson -- this nation.

It is both important and appropriate that we remember Scott Hoffman. He served us and shared with us during his 33 years of life. In times to come, we need to cherish his memory and be uplifted by his example through a lasting memorial.

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