Viewpoint: Searchers a point of pride for So. GA

South Georgia made national news recently when a North Carolina man who was in Ben Hill County taking skydivers up in his hot-air balloon went down in a freak storm.

Ed Ristaino and his balloon were the subject of a four day search in which people came on their own from Ben Hill and surrounding counties to help find him.

They gave their own time, and burned their own gas to get there, and stayed until the sad discovery of the balloon, and its pilot was made in dense woods.

Ed Ristaino's family was heartbroken by his loss, but they had nothing but good things to say about the people of South Georgia who beat the bushes and left no stone un-turned in their effort to help them.

They learned something we've known all along.

We may have our differences, and we may not always get along, but when things are serious, and lives are on the line, South Georgia folks can be depended on to pitch in, and do the right thing.

As we share in the grief for his family, we also thank all those who helped in the search for Ed Ristaino.>