Our View: An examplary citizen | CraigDailyPress.com

Our View: An examplary citizen

American patriotism is not only found in natural-born citizens. Saed Tayyara is a good example of that.

The longtime local public servant, who died last Saturday in Craig, emigrated from Syria many years ago. Since coming to Moffat County, he built a lasting positive reputation and was respected by residents from all walks of life.

The members of the Daily Press Editorial Board are included among those residents.

We may not always have agreed with his opinions, but we always respected him.

And that’s how it was for him, too.

He may have disagreed with us, but he was very proud and grateful for our right to have our own opinions, and to express them.

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Saed didn’t always have it easy.

Although he became as much a part of this community as the people born here, he did have an accent and a foreign-sounding name. Those things set him apart, especially after 9/11.

Yet, he always was gracious, saying that people had the right to their opinion.

That was a very big deal for him. In his birth country, that was not the case. He was very driven for standing up for the ideals of his chosen country.

We have many memories of Saed. One board member remembers Saed as a truck driver for ColoWyo Mine. Another remembers him as the man who brought Kentucky Fried Chicken to town. Yet another thinks of how he turned his Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise into Colorado Fried Chicken, and how that decision to not give in on a decision was something that he was able to remind people of in later conflicts, such as with the Daily Press.

Board members also remember how Saed always had his “facts lined up.” Even if he didn’t have it in his memory, he would know where to find the facts, and then he would say, “This is what it is :”

We also remember how he handled his illness, never seeking sympathy, and expecting people not to notice his health. “I have a job to do” was his attitude. And even sick, he wanted to know about any problems with the county so he could try to fix them.

Saed made a point of rallying for things he cared about, such as the city and county working together and building new public soccer fields, which are under construction at Loudy-Simpson. We think those soccer fields should bear his name.

Moffat County is mourning this week for a man known as a businessman, a public servant, a family man, a friend and neighbor, a community member and a patriotic American. But, we are also celebrating his life and what he meant to us.

He leaves behind some pretty big shoes.