Via- Topeka Capital Journal
About 150 people heard the message of civic engagement at an event sponsored by Morris Communications and The Topeka Capital-Journal on Wednesday night at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.
The Renaissance of American Responsibility — or ROAR — was spearheaded by former Capital-Journal reporter and editorial page editor Michael Ryan.
Ryan, who worked for The Capital-Journal for 19 years, is now the editorial page editor of The Augusta Chronicle in Augusta, Ga. He helped slate speakers for the event.
Gregg Ireland, publisher of The Capital-Journal, said Ryan was a “big influence” in finding speakers who came from diverse backgrounds and have done “a lot of good things for the community.”
One of those speakers, Melissa Jarboe, founded the Military Veteran Project after the death of her husband, Army Staff Sgt. Jamie Jarboe, in March 2012, 11 months after he was wounded while serving in Afghanistan.
“I think engagement for any type of community is beneficial,” she said before the event.
Jarboe said she hoped her speech would empower people to know they have the power to give back to their community.
“My main focus tonight is going to be freedom,” she said. “How we’re given freedoms as Americans and we should use them freely, because the cost of freedom is very high.”
Jarboe said she felt honored to be a part of the ROAR event and wants to help grow civic engagement in Topeka.
Ireland echoed Jarboe, saying he hoped ROAR would empower citizens to improve the community.
“I hope they get out of it that they can make a difference in their community, they just have to get active and become involved,” he said.
My name is Melissa Jarboe, military spouse, wounded warrior wife and war widow. Today and everyday moving forward, I will honor the sacrifice of our men and women who selflessly serve our nation.