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I write to you with a heavy heart. 5:45 p.m. Thursday evening Bubba was struck and killed in front of my home on 522 in downtown Sperryville. Susan and I are devastated. He had been with me since he was weaned as a pup and was my closest companion for the last 15 years.

For some reason, Bubba strayed close to the road and a local hit him with his truck, apparently not seeing him. He died in Susan’s arms moments later. As she and a couple of Sperryville residents who witnessed the accident pulled him to the side of the road into our yard, several drivers shouted obscenities to these three women, telling them to get outta the way. One woman even got out of her car and ended up telling Susan to ‘get over it, that it was just a damn dog.’ I arrived moments later, and too late.

I am writing to you, to plead to the people of our county to slow down as they travel through our towns. I implore them to rekindle the compassion that seems to have dwindled in our society. Almost daily, as we walk through our village, motorists whiz past us, yell at pedestrians, or do not slow down as people cross the roads. We also see kind faces of our neighbors who stop to allow a lady and her daughter to cross, or wave as they travel at the speed limit or under. So all is not lost. Due to the kindness of our neighbors stopping to assist Susan and me during this tragedy, it would have gone so much worse.

I had a phone conversation with Sheriff Connie today. She has promised to bolster her deputies’ presence in Sperryville to enforce our speed limits. I appreciated her speaking with me directly, her condolences for my loss and her assurance of action to reduce speeding in my community.

The Sperryville Community Alliance will continue to research and develop traffic calming methods to implement. We have seen a gross increase of traffic over the years and its impact simply cannot be ignored.

But it is up to those who live here, to look out for each other, to be mindful of each other. We get to decide what kind of community that we want to live in. One that suffers the nationwide sickness of division, aggression and lack of compassion or one built on the values of kindness, inclusion and neighborly cooperation, simply good manners, that has made this such a wonderful place that I call home.

— A longtime resident of Sperryville, the writer is co-owner of Stonewall Abbey Wellness & Totality Martial Arts located in the same village.

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