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story.lead_photo.caption Melinda Gassaway - File photo

As May 2020 moves inexorably toward month's end, here is a "Thumbs-up" to Jo West Taylor, chairman of the Garland County Veterans Memorial and Military Park, and other committee members for reminding area residents of the importance of remembering our veterans.

In lieu of the annual Memorial Day ceremony -- canceled in consideration for the health of veterans and the general public -- citizens are asked to observe a moment of silence at noon on Monday, May 25, in tribute to the service and sacrifices of all who have defended our nation's values and freedoms.

We can still fly Old Glory and salute these selfless men and women for their courage and commitment throughout the decades.

Speaking of service to others, here is a well-deserved "Thumbs-up" to Hot Springs philanthropist Dorothy Morris who will be inducted into the Arkansas Women's Hall of Fame in October.

Morris' generosity in annually helping support the work of more than 50 nonprofit organizations and contributing to a diverse range of local causes has truly made a difference in the lives of many adults and children throughout Hot Springs and Garland County.

Her personal involvement in the gift-making decisions of her Morris Foundation and the Hot Springs Giving Circle, which she co-founded with Don Munro, has helped ensure the growth and development of our community.

Congratulations, Dorothy.

Here is another "Thumbs-up" to Darin Landry, Lakeside High School principal, who recently was named 2020 Principal of the Year by the Arkansas Association of Secondary School Principals.

Per a news release, Landry's selection was, in part, for "leading several innovations in his profession." The release cited the Second Chance Policy, a program that allows suspended students to complete community service hours and have access to a drug and alcohol abuse program while keeping their status at the high school. They also complete class assignments during their suspension.

Thank you, Principal Landry, and continued best wishes.

On the other hand, here is a big "Thumbs-down" to the senseless and highly disturbing acts of vandalism that occurred earlier this month at Cutter Morning Star Cemetery.

The "bad acts" included turning over numerous headstones, stealing or destroying memorial objects on loved ones' grave sites and are believed to have happened on the night of Sunday, May 10, or early in the morning of Monday, May 11. The incidents were reported to the Garland County Sheriff's Department. According to a nearby resident, vandalism has been ongoing at the cemetery for years and he "is always running people off."

Having one's property defaced or destroyed is always troubling but having family grave sites desecrated is especially upsetting.

Conversely, here is a "Thumbs-up" to the conscientious retail clerks who politely remind errant customers about social distancing guidelines out of concern for other shoppers who are following those rules.

This writer is especially grateful to the two employees of the Albert Pike Walgreen Drug Store for asking unmasked patrons to "please move back" when they ignored or forgot the six-feet floor markings.

Caution is still the word of the day.

And on that subject, several new words and phrases have come to the fore during these past few months of dealing with a national and global pandemic.

We say, "Thumbs-up" to all our readers who can recite 10 or more terms and phrases that have become part of our lexicon.

Good luck and take care.

The Thumbs Column appears in The Sentinel-Record the first and third Wednesday of each month. The newspaper welcomes readers' comments and suggestions which should be submitted in writing with a telephone number and home address for verification and contact purposes. This information is kept confidential.

Editorial on 05/20/2020

Print Headline: Thumbs column

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