In ceremonies across the county Monday, "Taps" was played to honor members of the U.S. Armed Forces who made the ultimate sacrifice. Locally, Mary Hunt of Indian Land is among those who does not take the meaning of Memorial Day lightly.
Hunt went to a Lancaster County School Board meeting last week and made an eloquent argument against the board's decision to keep school in session despite the holiday. The school board said it decided to hold classes on Memorial Day after the state school board approved uniform starting dates for S.C. districts last year. Exams are being held this week and Lancaster school officials were worried that students would lose focus after the traditional, three-day weekend, a district spokesman told us.
That might be true for some students, but it's difficult to believe a majority of students would be hindered. It should be the responsibility of parents to make sure their children are prepared for their finals.
Lancaster's is the only area school district that held classes Monday. The school board has already decided to do the same thing next year and Hunt's argument failed to make board members even consider making a change.
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Although Memorial Day has largely become the unofficial start of summer and a day for family cookouts and blowout sales, Hunt kept her focus. She kept her children home from school Monday and had them deliver flags to neighbors to hang on their mailboxes.
At a time when our country's military members are fighting and dying daily in Iraq and Afghanistan, we salute her resolve.
Make the money change
Imagine being at the mercy of store clerks or other strangers when it comes time to count your change after a cash transaction. That's what it's like for the visually impaired when they handle paper currency.
At least two out of three judges on a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit understand. The panel's majority upheld a lower court decision in a case brought by the American Council of the Blind. The Council is trying to force the U.S. Treasury Department to alter paper currency with braille or some other raised markers so those who can't differentiate between bills can know what they have in their hands.
The Treasury Department had argued that it would be too burdensome to make the switch. Hogwash, the two judges said. We agree.
It may be difficult to create a new kind of paper currency and there would have to be some retrofitting of vending machine, ATMs and the like, but it is necessary. We hope this ruling convinces the government to stop resisting and focus instead on making this important improvement in our paper money.