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Corvallis lost a beloved, hard-working and kindhearted resident last week. Mitch Dong deserves to be honored for the man that he was and his contributions to our town. His journey to Corvallis began as a resilient refugee from South Vietnam. He was a graduate of Corvallis High School where he met his wife. They made a new home for themselves here, with their two children. He didn’t back down from a challenge or an adventure and was successful in opening several businesses around Corvallis. Any time spent with Mitch and his family revealed their warmth, generosity and love.

Senseless violence is too common in this world. It isn’t something you can anticipate and it leaves devastation in its wake. The only way forward is through empathy and support for one another.

We all share the responsibility to acknowledge and respect the humanity behind a story. It’s an injustice to restate the details of a crime report knowing full well a family must endure each excruciating detail in open text. Despite numerous emails and calls to omit insensitive content and gratuitous details, this local newspaper has failed to portray compassion or respect for a long-standing community member.

Mitch’s legacy of fearlessness, grace and kindness will live on in his children and grandchild and the friends whose lives he has touched. We can all hope to channel some of his intrepid spirit and remember to honor the people who have shaped Corvallis into the welcoming place it is.

Margot Draeger

Corvallis (Dec. 20)

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