Why put plaques in a public place that tell about people few of us ever met, much less knew?
They're not famous icons of history, like Christopher Columbus, who sailed the ocean blue.
They're people who walked these sandy shores just as we do, except they've been named to the new Hilton Head Island Hall of Fame.
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On Sunday afternoon, the first four inductees, announced last November, will be honored at the dedication of their new permanent home on the island. Each will have a pedestal made like old tabby and placed near the Butterfly Enclosure at the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn.
On top of each pedestal will be a bronze plaque, with an image of the honoree, a few words about them and why they were selected.
This happened because the Hilton Head Rotary Club took a "somebody ought to" idea and turned it into reality. This is the club, founded in 1967, that early on helped see to it the community had an ambulance and a Boy Scout troop. It sponsored a Youth Center that evolved into the Island Recreation Association, built The Deep Well Project's first home, helped Memory Matters get a home and once built a house in a week to raise money to stamp out polio.
That helps explain why a hall of fame matters.
Whatever we have today -- and we should stop whining long enough to acknowledge that we have a great deal -- did not just happen. It did not fall out of the sky. It came about because enough people did more than say how things ought to be or how things used to be, and got busy to make things better.
We need to recognize that.
And we need to understand that the world didn't begin when we arrived.
Garry Moore, who retired from television to Hilton Head, once wrote: "I've never been able to fix the exact period it takes to become an 'old-timer' but it seems to start the moment you've crossed the bridge and your brakes have cooled off."
That's funny, but it's sad when you name an old-timer who made lasting improvements here, and people look dumbfounded and say: "Who?"
These days we like to fret over a vision for the future. That's fine, but first we should know the vision that got us this far.
That's why it matters that Charlie Simmons Sr., Fred Hack, Charles Fraser and Charlotte Heinrichs will be put on little pedestals near the marsh and live oaks.