In the final week of the year, The East Hampton Star celebrates people who went above and beyond to make their communities a better place in 2020's darkest of days. These are but a few of the many who inspired us this year through their strength, kindness, resilience, and bravery.
We are grateful to the people profiled here and to all those who saved lives or watched them come to an end, who kept us connected, who delivered groceries and mail and packages galore, who found new ways to teach or preach, or run a business to meet new needs, and to the arts and cultural organizations that helped us reflect and also brought us moments of levity. We salute the volunteers who helped fend off food and housing insecurity, the activists who called for change, and the individuals, businesses, and even public libraries who used sewing machines and 3-D printers to make personal protective equipment for health care workers and first responders when supplies were in doubt. We recognize the first responders who this year did what they do every year but with so many added layers of risk.
We don't need to tell you how hard this year has been. A pandemic that brought the world to its knees and economies to a standstill, that claimed loved ones and job security, that gutted and shuttered small businesses. An election that drove deep wedges between neighbors. Beyond the fear and public health threat that came with Covid-19, this was a crushing year that laid bare troubling and longstanding inequities and widened the fissures between the haves and have-nots, a year that challenged us in so many ways and stretched our patience and our persistence to the breaking point.
This year, to look back on reporting from just 10 months ago is like looking back on a world that in some ways is scarcely possible to imagine. Those photographs of the Little League clinic or the firehouse dinner, the Christmas fair -- why isn't anyone wearing masks? Oh, right, that was the Before. In some ways, this was the year that wasn't, when every celebration was canceled, every milestone upended.
We lost so much and so many, but we have hope because of the people and efforts described in these pages and the many more like them. They are our SuperStars and we applaud them.