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Thumbs up, thumbs down

December 22, 2007

Thumbs up to all of the law-enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day they're on duty for a paycheck that isn't nearly enough to justify the risk. They take guff from the people who dispute the ticket they got for speeding or whose rowdy children aren't "real criminals." But when there's trouble and they don't arrive quickly, or worse, when they arrest someone whose parents have been making excuses for him or her for years, they are criticized. Thanks, officers, for all that you do.

Thumbs up to all of the firefighters and the emergency medical services personnel who interrupt their sleep, their dinners and other family occasions to deal with the grisly aftermath of a car wreck, an assault or a fire. They undergo extensive training for the privilege of responding when the worst things in life happen. Pay them back in 2008 by driving safely and avoiding fire dangers and violent people.

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Thumbs up to the elected officials of Washington County, particularly those who serve in the incorporated towns. For salaries that amount to cab fare, they spend hours dealing with problems, such as sewage capacity and rezonings, that most citizens don't understand or care about. That town officials persevere is to their credit and everyone's benefit.

Thumbs up to officials and volunteers of Washington County's nonprofit organizations, who provide service to the young, the old and to people with a variety of problems ranging from addiction to Alzheimer's disease. In addition to the service they provide, they raise money to pay their agencies' bills. Thanks for all you do.

Thumbs up to o all of the volunteers who serve with a variety of youth sports and recreational associations, donating their time as coaches, mentors and sometimes, as role models for those youths who lack them at home. They do this for no pay. And sometimes for their trouble they get grief from parents who feel that their child has been unfairly treated or doesn't get enough playing time. Thanks for ignoring all that, for the kids.

Thumbs up to the correctional officers at the state prisons south of Hagerstown, for making a career out of supervising an increasingly dangerous inmate population. The officers often deal with humanity at its worst, the result of a lives lived without the advantage of loving, nurturing parents and caring, competent teachers. It is one thing to be a jailer, but these men and women are also tasked with being role models.

Thumbs up to all of The Herald-Mail's readers and visitors to our Web site. It's your attention and participation that draws advertisers to provide the funds it takes to finance a news-gathering operation. Not only that, but readers provide tips, constructive criticism and letters to the editor that offer a different perspective than our own. We are thankful to have such a committed group paying attention to what we do.

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