Volume No. 18 Issue No. 9 September 2021  

Michelle Barrette
  By Michelle Barrette

     National Suicide Prevention Week 2021 in the United States will begin on Sunday, Sept. 5, and end on Saturday, Sept. 11. Ava Stoller has written an informative and interesting article on suicide for this issue. We learn that law enforcement and health organizations are uniquely teaming up to address suicide in El Paso County.
   According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. In 2019 (the last year that statistics were published), there were 47, 511 deaths by suicide. That same year, 1.38 million people attempted suicide in the U.S. Although we hear a lot about teen suicide, young people age 15 to 24 had the lowest rate of suicides. The rate of suicide is highest in middle-aged white men. The AFSP website states that in 2019, firearms accounted for 50.39% of all suicide deaths. For more statistics and information, visit the AFSP website at https://afsp.org/suicide-statistics.
   Also, in this month’s issue, Timothy Page wrote an article highlighting the Falcon Exchange Club. We are trying to feature nonprofit community oriented clubs and organizations in our area, and we are always looking for suggestions.
   I love this time of the year: the colors, the crisp evenings, the warm and sunny (but not too hot) days. Although the Aspen trees get the most attention this time of year, the prairie offers an array of beautiful colors as well.
   Besides Suicide Prevention awareness, there are other “awareness days” in September. Labor Day is the most well-known holiday in September. But there is also Native American Day, celebrated on the fourth Friday of September.
   Sadly, September is the month we all remember for terrorist activity on Sept. 11. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that took the lives of almost 3,000 people. Four U.S. commercial airliners were hijacked, and three were forced to crash into the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Virginia. The fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania after passengers fought the hijackers. It’s still uncertain the target of the fourth plane, but some have guessed the White House, the Capitol, etc.
   This country was changed forever, and terrorism unfortunately still ravages the world, as witnessed on Aug. 26, when ISIS-K launched a suicide bomb in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing at least 13 American soldiers, more than 100 Afghans and wounding many more.
   It is an unsettled world, and the news can be overwhelming and unnerving. As a community newspaper, our focus is local; we also have our share of worrisome issues. But we also feature the fun stuff like interviews with residents and personal columns that make us laugh or give us a glimpse into others’ lives. And then we have Phun Photos and Monkey Business. This month, we have lots of puppies (see Pg. 21) to remind us that life can be sweet, too.
   See you in October!
   - Michelle
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