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Editor's Note: Patch's Wish as a New Year Dawns

As 2012 comes to a close Patch wants to thank our readers and reflects on the past year.

There’s no way to sugar coat the close of 2012.

The overwhelming devastation from super storm Sandy still has too many families living out of their homes, cleaning up debris and wondering if coastal flooding will now become a routine event given Fire Island’s tremendous erosion.

The unspeakable tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School and loss of innocent lives, young and old, is seared into our memory as clear as the horrific attacks of 9/11.

There were too many lives taken from the community this year, from a 18-year-old teenager with aspirations of becoming an artist to the death of a beloved teacher who left a young family behind, to a 68-year-old wife, mother and grandmother killed in what was the biggest LIE car crash in most residents’ memory.

As 2012 ends, it is only human nature to think about the tragedies, feel overwhelmed by the lost of loved ones, and linger on the heartaches.

It takes some doing, some intentional thought, on our part to recall all the goodness and community spirit that sprung forth this year such as the superhuman effort by Seafarer shop owner Barbara Whitbread, the Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce and local fire departments in helping Sandy victims all over the island and New York boroughs.

The inspirational memorial patio built at B-BP high school by a former student of Doug Monsell as a tribute to Monsell’s passion for teaching.

The multitude of fundraising efforts by many, many young people for various causes including Sayville’s Athletes for Athlete’s polar plunge to help the Special Olympics to beach cleanups by B-BP science students.

The incredible community support by local businesses and residents whenever called upon and the community groups that continually help those in need and work hard to improve everything from educational programs to keeping families in need warm and fed to making sure quality of life is impacted by over development and legislative actions.

The many lives saved by tremendous response by the Community Ambulance Company, quick-thinking life-saving efforts by school staffers at both B-BP and Sayville schools and the local fire departments. Few realize how much personal time it takes to serve as a volunteer.

Nope, 2012 isn’t ending on the most terrific note. It will be known as the year Sandy hit and as the year of a massacre of innocent lives.

But it’s also been a year of inspirational acts of kindness, love and caring. And those are the thoughts we need to take with us as we usher in 2013.

Here’s hoping the New Year brings more good than bad, more random acts of kindness, stronger support for local shops and store owners who do so much for their communities, greater appreciation for fire and ambulance volunteers who are often taken for granted until an emergency hits, and good health and happiness for everyone.

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