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Tregre: Tragedies are hard to digest

I can remember exactly where I was standing when I first saw the 9/11 attacks on our country. My thoughts and feelings were like ‘there is no way’ and ‘this can’t be real.’ The breaking news of the days’ events seemed to go on for months, and the time did not make the new findings any easier to digest. It was a catastrophic event that our nation will never forget and one that has changed the course of our lives forever, with respect to safety. September does not come around if we don’t begin to think of that sad day, and try to remember some of the good things that may have come from such tragedy.

And locally, I think our region took a pause as the news of Nancy Parker Boyd’s untimely death spread throughout the Metro Area this past month. I was in NOLA when I heard the news and it too was unreal. I have known Nancy in my professional and personal life. She and her husband Glynn were both television journalists at the time I was a rookie Public Information Officer. Our time spent presenting current events to the viewers of our area spawned a true friendship.

Glynn is originally from our neighboring St. Charles Parish, and he used to hang out with my family back in the day. My wife and I attended Nancy’s 50th birthday party, and they reciprocated by attending my wife’s 50th birthday party. Nancy took time to take pictures with anyone and everyone who attended our celebration because she had that kind of personable spirit. And Glynn shared her with the world.

I attended Nancy’s funeral. It was an event of sadness and inspiration at the same time. Listening to speakers and the singing was uplifting.  I am sure plenty of people could have said great things about Nancy. But what I witnessed from her husband Glynn was a testimonial of true love. Glynn and Nancy not only had a marriage —they had a special partnership and a friendship that was on full display for all of us to see. They had what many married couples would love to have. At the services I heard Glynn tell everyone that Nancy was an angel in disguise. I believe him! My prayers are with Glynn and their children as they move forward.

Today, in St. John Parish we are coming upon a historic event. The ground breaking for the first ever West Bank Public Safety Complex will be held on Friday, September 20th, 2019 at 10 a.m. These plans have been in the making for quite some time now. After planning and designing was complete, the Mississippi River high levels held up construction due to safety issues. Once the water levels went down, we were able to plan for construction to begin. The public is invited to the ground breaking ceremony.

I will also be on the School Board agenda on Thursday, Sept.19. I will be discussing enhancing school safety, school traffic and other items. One item in particular is the proposal for an emergency panic button alert system, which is a direct notification system from school officials to first responders. As school is underway, we continue to work with the School Board and School Administrators to enhance safety for our kids.

In closing, we remember the events of 9/11 throughout the month of September because it was life changing for many, especially the families directly affected. Hopefully you had an opportunity to reflect for a minute about where you were that day and remember that life is short and unpredictable. Be helpful.  Be kind. And, most of all be grateful.

Mike Tregre is sheriff of St. John the Baptist Parish. Reach him at m.tregre@stjohnsheriff.org.