ALL GLORY IS FLEETING
-wheeled vehicle as this.
"For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeteers, musicians and strange animals from conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conqueror rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children robed in white stood with him in the chariot or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting."
- Gen. George C. Patton
By the time most of you read this, I will no longer be an elected official, but I felt it was necessary to reflect upon my tenure as a public official for one final time.
Although certainly not a conqueror I have ridden in my share of tumultuous parades over the last 12 years, the last two being the Byron and Fort Valley Christmas parades. Instead of a chariot pulled by four magnificent horses, my ride was a 350 horsepower diesel powered ladder truck courtesy of Peach County Fire Department. I'm sure the Roman conquerors would have been proud to have ridden in such a fine
Of course I didn't have a slave riding next to me whispering warnings in my ear, but I did have my friend and loyal county employee Rich Bennett standing next to me telling me to make sure I tossed out candy to the anxious crowd below.
My 12 years as county commissioner have given me the opportunity to experience countless wonders across our state and nation, opportunities that I would not have had otherwise. My travels have taken me to one of our Nation's most hallowed grounds: Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. I have seen the Golden Gate Bridge, the giant Sequoias of California, NORAD and the Air Force Academy in Colorado, The Alamo in Texas, the skyscrapers of Chicago and the crystal blue waters of Lake Michigan.
I have visited our Nation's capital, Washington, D.C., as well as the capital of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia. I have been to Monterrey and Xalapa, Mexico tracing the footsteps of the Spanish explorer Cortez and experienced how people less fortunate than we exist.
I have been to one of the world's oldest and richest countries: China, visited The Great Wall, Tienamin Square, The Forbidden City and Chengdu, home of the Giant Panda and the birthplace of our American Peach industry.
From the air I have looked down upon the snow-covered regions of Alaska, the North Pole, the vast expanses of Russia and Mongolia and one of our National treasures, the Grand Canyon.
I have met with Governors from the State of Georgia and Provinces in Mexico and China. I have met with Mayors from cities with populations of over 12 million people to villages in the mountains of Mexico with populations of just a few hundred.
My greatest experience was having the opportunity to come in contact with people from all walks of life. I have become friends with many city and county officials across the state. My relationships with county personnel has transcended from being a business relationship to a personal friendship. It is these relationships I will cherish the most as I leave office.
On my final day in office, I was besieged with a request for repairs to a dirt road, had one last meeting with the Public Defender's office and had a final briefing on a Development Authority project. The demands of the office are never ending, but the terms of office are finite. It will now be up to the new Board of Commissioners to handle these issues.
But the last day was not all bad. The staff in the Commissioner's office invited me to lunch with them at the Court House. The final meal that we shared together was special to all of us. Michaela Jones prepared a delicious German cake for us called Bienenstich. I couldn't believe it because I had been asking for one for years.
Is all glory fleeting? Of course it is. I'm no different than any other public figure. Perhaps a better statement is: Have I succeeded? I know I have. Peach County is better than it was 12 years ago. Peach County will be better in the future after I'm gone.
People may soon forget my accomplishments, but my memories and friendships will be with me forever. Thank you for allowing me to be your Commissioner. It has been a honor and a privilege to serve the people of Peach County.
James E. Khoury
Peach County Commissioner 1997-2008
"To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition, to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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