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Sunday, Mar. 1, 2015

Letting the world know someone still cares

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Death becomes more and more an expected thing as time rolls on in one's life.

For most middle-aged and older people, they go through the usual routines following a death without many outward signs, at least publicly, after their loved one's funeral is behind them.

But some younger persons take a different, and very noticeable, approach to deaths of their peers. A few older people are following the same path.

These more-visible mourners keep their loved one's memory alive -- and very visible.

Police have been called several times over the past few days about gatherings and words written onto the pavement of Stanley Boulevard, near the site where Adam Ogles died in a car crash on the night of March 9.

Flowers and a sign still mark the roadside where a woman on her way to nursing school was killed last March on U.S. 231 North at Deason; where two little girls died on Fairfield Pike in north Shelbyville; and in several other places around Bedford County.

At least one grass fire has had to be doused where lighted candles were left by U.S. 41-A South at the site of a fatal crash several years ago.

One of Ogles' friends has tributes to him written on the back and side windows of her car.

Professionally-printed remembrances -- usually reading "In memory of..." or something similar -- mark rear windows of countless vehicles.

These expressive and creative ways of sharing feelings are a good thing in a sometimes hate-filled world.

It'll be interesting to see if these younger generations continue these tributes into their older years.

Speaking out

Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been under criticism for his views that homosexual activity is adultery and that gay military personnel shouldn't serve openly.

"I believe that homosexual acts between individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts," Pace told the Chicago Tribune.

One of the hallmarks of the United States is the freedom to hold your own opinion.

Pace's position as someone with a major influence on public policy may be a factor in the criticism, but it's getting more than a little irritating to hear gay activists attempt to tear apart anyone who dares challenge them.

They have the right to disagree with Pace -- but not the right to demand an apology and future silence. He has as much right to an opinion -- and to express an opinion -- as anyone else.

Let the Sunshine in

Last week was Sunshine Week across the nation, during which news media defended the need for open meetings, full access to public documents and reports and, in general, the people's right to information.

It's important that all public business be conducted openly, and that no public records of any type are ever withheld.

Those in positions of trust must realize the public interest always comes first -- not the interest of any individual or group who may falsely think they're above the law and that their names, decisions or alleged activities should be withheld.

Otherwise, the people -- that's all of us including, in the long term, those who wrongfully seek secrecy -- lose.

David Melson is a Times-Gazette copy editor/staff writer. Comments welcome: dmelson@t-g.com .

David Melson
On the Loose