Current editorials from Georgian newspapers:
The Rome News-Tribune on the removal of the statue of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest:
The city of Rome recently removed a statue of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest from a prominent spot in Myrtle Hill Cemetery. Given social issues that have gripped the nation in recent months, the statue – and others who like it – have become points of contention.
You have become a physical thing that continues to create division.
We believe that removing the statue from Myrtle Hill Cemetery was the city’s right decision. We recognize, more than most, the importance of preserving history and educating the community. The city is not trying to “erase” history with the removal of this statue.
The decision to move on was a decision by a community government that values their entire constituency, not the voices of discontent that are often heard the loudest.
Many of these statues were erected during the Jim Crow era and are a concrete reminder of the oppression and systematic racism of the time. Unfortunately, we believe this was the intent of many at the time they were built – to make the idea of ”better than” and “less than” visible to all.
The story behind this particular statue and others who like it doesn’t exist in stone. It exists in our collective consciousness. So if you really want to preserve history, you can find it in our libraries, schools, museums and cultural centers. If history and its preservation are REALLY what concerns you, there are many ways you can educate yourself and your children about our past.
We just hope that those who are passionate about defending these statues are doing so for the right reason.
Regardless, the decision to remove the statue until it can be placed in a location dedicated to our area’s civil war history was a wise decision. It’s our story and that hasn’t changed, now it’s being moved to a more appropriate place.
The Valdosta Times on Community Heroes and the Coronavirus Pandemic:
Ashli Scruggs is a hero.
She’s not the only one.
We have many heroes in our church.
The word hero gets used a little too much.
If you overuse an award, it can lose its meaning.
However, there is little doubt that people who put themselves at risk for the safety and well-being of others are true heroes. For this reason, we rightly consider the brave military men and women on the lines of battle as our heroes.
A different type of war has been waged in our nation and around the world for almost a year. The enemy is COVID-19.
The heroes in this war are the front line workers.
They are respiratory therapists, nurses, doctors, other clinicians, and support staff.
In the early days of the pandemic, Scruggs, a nurse from Valdosta, traveled to New York City to treat patients diagnosed with COVID-19.
She joined at least a thousand others in the fight against the virus for 21 days. Scruggs worked 12-hour shifts, caring for COVID-19 patients in overcrowded intensive care units.
She called the scene “chaotic” but did not shy away from her mission at the time. She worked through her own fears of the virus to be brave for the men and women in her care.
Like so many others here in our church, she probably doesn’t see herself as a hero and believes that she was just “doing her job.”
But there are hundreds, thousands of people like her who just “do their jobs”, are daily heroes, treating and caring for patients, working in the emergency room, performing respiratory treatments, setting up ventilators and taking care of daily care in the COVID unit, hospice care, Administering the vaccine while putting yourself at risk, knowing that large numbers of health care workers have contracted the dangerous virus while caring for others.
We can’t all be with them while they do their important – and dangerous – jobs, but there are things we can do to support, respect, and help them. We can help stop the virus from spreading by wearing our protective masks, social distancing, avoiding gatherings, washing our hands, using hand sanitizer, and when it is our turn to get the vaccine.
For now, we’d just like to take a minute to thank all of these brave women and men who work on the front lines.
You are our hero.
The Brunswick News on how to drive carefully near school buses:
What’s yellow and long about wheels, has a flashing light on the roof in the stern, and can be seen on most roads twice a day with a cargo more precious than all the gold on the planet?
The answer, of course, is school buses. Their size and well-lit exterior before dawn and after dawn make them easily visible to pedestrians and motorists on the streets and main streets of the neighborhood. They are even more visible in daylight.
Yet they are vulnerable moving targets.
One such mishap happened on Friday, and let’s say now that Glynn County can count its lucky stars. No serious injuries were reported while children were being transported on the bus to the Southeast Georgia Health System hospital in Brunswick.
A vehicle pulled into the rear of the bus on US 82 and Galilee Road. Thirteen children, mostly high school students, went to the hospital to be examined by health professionals.
The first details were sketchy. All law enforcement agencies were able to say early Friday that the vehicle that drove on the bus was a minivan. What exactly happened was not disclosed. We pray that the driver and any passengers who may have been in the vehicle were not seriously injured.
The accident reminds all drivers to be extra careful and alert when approaching school buses. They stop frequently and not always in places the driver expects. They can also be left stopped for an extended period of time, depending on the number of children boarding and the age and wakefulness of the elementary, middle, or high school students hitching a ride.
Expect the same stops in the afternoons after leaving school that might seem abrupt to drivers who are not careful.
According to the National Security Council, 13,000 children and adults were injured in accidents with school buses in 2018. Last year’s statistics are available. Of that number, 117 were killed. Both numbers include school bus drivers, bus passengers, vehicle passengers and pedestrians.
Be careful out there. An injured child is one too many.