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To honor our veterans, vote

May 28, 2002|BY BOB MAGINNIS

In solemn ceremonies across the Tri-State area, citizens recalled the sacrifices made by members of the armed forces from the Revolutionary War to the present conflict in Afghanistan. We hope that, as the November election approaches, all citizens remember they have a duty of their own.

That duty is to listen to the candidates for office, examine their backgrounds, then vote for the best among them. Not everyone can shoulder a rifle in the Afghan desert, but just about any citizen can read newspapers, watch television and vote by absentee ballot, if necessary.

The ease of doing so makes the typical excuses we hear feeble indeed. Not voting dishonors those who have sacrificed over the years to preserve and defend that right. Not voting is a form of laziness that puts the region and the nation at risk, because it makes it easier for the special interests to enact measures that may not be in most citizens' best interests.

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Let's deal with the lamest excuse of all, that all politicians are the same. No matter who you backed, does anyone really believe that there was no difference between presidential contenders George W. Bush and Al Gore, or between Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening and opponent Ellen Sauerbrey?

In both races, the differences in what they were promising to do were clear and in both cases, the contenders had records that were available for the public's inspection.

In Washington County, adults have another incentive to vote: To show your children and grandchildren you're doing the right thing.

Chances are the youngters will be paying attention, because this is the only county in Maryland with a chapter of Kids Voting, a national program that encourages children to go the polls with their parents and vote in their own straw polls, the results of which are reported in The Herald-Mail.

Some schools, including Maugansville Elementary, take the project very seriously, incorporating it into student lessons and even holding a parade. Please cooperate with that effort by taking your child to the pools, and voting yourself.

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