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OUR VIEW: City perfectly handled Bella's Garden

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opinion Mitchell,South Dakota 57301 http://www.mitchellrepublic.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/field/image/MDR%20logo%20hi%20res_10.jpg?itok=ijOkb33J
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OUR VIEW: City perfectly handled Bella's Garden
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

In a perfect world, young Iszabella Morgan would be alive today, running and playing, attending classes and doing everything that a little girl does.

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But the world isn't perfect, as brutally demonstrated in March 2012, when Morgan died in an accident related to drunken driving. In the months since, her family and friends worked hard to preserve her memory and, if nothing else, provide a difficult reminder that drinking and driving absolutely do not mix.

Saturday, several hundred well-wishers gathered in Mitchell's Northridge Park to dedicate Bella's Butterfly Garden, a small corner of the park that will forever remind us of Bella. Butterflies were released, lunch was served and the guests got to see their first official glimpse of this much-discussed memorial on Mitchell's northeast side.

It's been a tough subject, and one that has previously appeared on our Opinion Page. We openly worried that renaming a street or park -- both were early suggestions -- was unwise, even in light of the tragic circumstances. We learned and reported during those discussions, for example, that Northridge Park already was named for a family named North, even though most people had never known or forgotten that information.

In the end, the city chose to allow Bella's Garden. Private donations helped make it a reality and today, we are proud of the process that led to this beautiful place.

Ideas were formed, and calm, reasonable thinking followed. From those well-intended discussions arose Bella's Garden.

This was the right thing to do.

Soon, a plaque will be in place at the site. Appropriately, it will forever remind visitors to always wear their seat belt and to never drink and drive.

Through Bella's Garden, her memory -- and the lessons we learned in her death -- will live on. Our hope is that her terrible and unfortunate passing will not entirely be in vain, and Bella's Garden will help ensure that it won't.

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