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Thumbs column

OPINION by Melinda Gassaway, guest column | September 15, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.

Before looking ahead to this week's other digit doings, let's all take a look back to last week's commemorative observances of the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America.

In so doing, we send out a "Thumbs-up" to the Lake Hamilton School District for its 9.11.01 Remembrance Parade that featured patriotic music, floats from each school building, the area's first responders, medical professionals, and past and present members of the military.

We salute Denise Miller, high school history teacher, Superintendent Shawn Higginbotham, Lake Hamilton faculty members and staff, students, parents and volunteers who assisted with this "Day to Remember" event.

Another "Thumbs-up" goes out to Meggan Moody, assistant principal, and other administrators at the Hot Springs Junior Academy, for creating a Sept. 11, 2001, interactive display and then last Thursday and Friday hosting seventh- and ninth-grade social studies students on a walk-through of its various stations.

Academy teachers and staff hope the display gave the students a better understanding of what happened during the attacks and allowed them to reflect on its ramifications.

Many thanks to the Hot Springs School District for this unique means of retelling a story of "terror and strength."

By the same token, here's a "Thumbs-up" to Fountain Lake High School, recipient of $2,000 for winning the Act of Kindness Challenge from the Unity Coalition of Garland County.

Per a recent report in the hometown newspaper, Fountain Lake will use $1,000 to promote more kindness in the school and $1,000 went toward holding a field day celebration.

Speaking of kindness and goodwill, here's a "Thumbs-up" to members of the Arkansas State Society Daughters of the American Revolution for presenting gift bags to front-line staffers of the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System.

Along with candies, lip balm, hand cream, and two friendship stones, the bags included a letter from CAVHS leadership and a card from DAR thanking workers for their "ongoing efforts to treat COVID-19 veterans."

Staying on the subject of showing concern for the well-being of others, here's a "Thumbs-up" to Hot Springs resident Mavis Hardwick for citing her worries about speeding in a Sunday letter to the editor published in The Sentinel-Record's Viewpoints section.

Hardwick noted what she views as the lack of speed limit enforcement on Lakeside Road, which she describes as "hilly and curvy ... and heavily traveled."

She hopes her letter "will get to the agency that handles speeding on certain roadways" ... and before something tragic happens."

And finally, here's a big "Cheer" and a "Thumbs-up" to Arkansas head football coach Sam Pittman, not only for leading the Razorbacks to last Saturday's 40-21 win over No. 15 Texas, but for the professional, positive, and personable manner in which he conducts himself.

Pittman's recruiting prowess, staff development, and player management, have excited the UofA fans, but his genuineness has established another kind of "Good Sam's Club."

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

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