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Dream big, work hard

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It was exciting last week to see designs and plans for two projects in Galax — the further beautification of the downtown district and the veterans’ memorial planned at the Galax Public Library.

Artist Todd Price’s renderings of the granite monument to soldiers present and past was awe-inspiring. If organizers can raise the $300,000 they need, it will be a respectful and reverent testament to their service.

Later in the week, we saw a design firm’s plans to dress up downtown Galax’s alleys, parking lots and side streets. The drawings got our minds racing with thoughts of how the city will look in the future.

In planning its makeover of the historic district, the city wisely did not ignore these often overlooked facets. The plan is to turn the alleys into appealing “backstreets” with banners, planters, archways, murals and even an outdoor movie screen. Designers say it would be an inexpensive way to take care of urban blight.

The effort to fix up storefronts and businesses is already underway, and this will only add to the district’s aesthetic overhaul.

Projects like these are often derided as efforts to merely draw tourists, but the downtown revitalization and monument are aimed more at building up pride in our community. If visitors want to come, that’s a definite bonus, but why not make our city and towns more attractive to those who have to look at them every day?

It’s fun to dream and imagine what could be, as with the ambitious plans for the Town of Fries. Sometimes those dreams can turn into a reality, as with the recent revitalization of downtown Hillsville.

Here’s to dreaming big, and working hard to make it come true.