Thursday, April 19, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Honoring our fallen

Almost 150 years ago, Memorial Day grew from the ashes of the Civil War. Decades later, its meaning and importance endure.

Honoring the sacrifices of our fallen servicemen and women is honoring everything they have fought to preserve time and time again: our lives, liberty and the right to the pursuit of happiness. Today, we take a moment to pay a tribute that cannot begin to match the boundlessness of what they have given.

War has touched every corner of America. More than 2,200 servicemen and women have died in the Afghan conflict alone. In October, Spc. Brittany Gordon of St. Petersburg died from wounds suffered after a suicide bomber hit her unit. She was 24.

But while today's memorial parades and ceremonies are meant to honor the sacrifices of our fallen heroes, we should not forget the service of today's veterans and soldiers who are facing their own challenges. A recent census in Hillsborough County found that one-fifth of the county's 2,275 homeless people are veterans.

Nor should we neglect the bleak reality of mental health conditions in the military. Last year, suicides displaced combat fatalities as the leading cause of death, and the Huffington Post has reported that one veteran dies by suicide every day. Posttraumatic stress disorder continues to cause pain, and the number of sexual assaults is staggering. More should be done on all these fronts so that a culture of silence doesn't overwhelm soldiers and veterans.

There are reasons for hope. Though the unemployment rate among verterans still exceeds the national average, Michelle Obama and Jill Biden's Joining Forces project has helped more than 290,000 military spouses and veterans get hired or retrained. Local projects and national aid have helped decrease homelessness among veterans significantly. These are the efforts our service members deserve.

Today, as we herald the unofficial beginning of summer, many are remembering the unfathomable pain of losing of a brother, friend, mother or child to war. Indeed, over the course of more than two centuries, more than 1.2 million Americans have given their lives to protect this country and its values.

Memorial Day reminds us to find light in the darkness, to honor and celebrate those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. After all, Memorial Day's date was chosen to ensure a bounty of blooming flowers with which to decorate the graves of those we've lost. The perennial beauty of these flowers reminds us year after year of so much: the profound pain of loss, the courage and strength of American veterans, our deep gratefulness, and the cost of this free, united land.

Comments
Editorial: Improving foster care in Hillsborough

Editorial: Improving foster care in Hillsborough

A new foster care provider in Hillsborough County is poised to take over operations in May, only months after its predecessor was fired for what was alleged to be a pattern of failing to supervise at-risk children in its care. Many of the case manage...
Published: 04/18/18

Another voice: Back to postal reform

President Donald Trump is angry at Amazon for, in his tweeted words, "costing the United States Post Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy." Yet in more recent days, Trump has at least channeled his feelings in what could prove...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18
Editorial: Congress should protect independence of special counsel

Editorial: Congress should protect independence of special counsel

A bipartisan Senate bill clarifying that only the attorney general or a high-ranking designee could remove a special prosecutor would send an important message amid President Donald Trump’s attacks on the investigation into Russia’s inter...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18
Editorial: Donít fall for Constitution Revision Commissionís tricks

Editorial: Donít fall for Constitution Revision Commissionís tricks

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission has wasted months as a politically motivated scam masquerading as a high-minded effort to ask voters to improve the stateís fundamental document. The commission on Monday added amendments to the November b...
Published: 04/16/18
Editorial: Rednerís court win on medical marijuana sends message

Editorial: Rednerís court win on medical marijuana sends message

Florida regulators have done far too little to make voter-approved medical marijuana widely available for patients suffering from chronic illnesses. A circuit court judge in Tallahassee ruled last week there is a price for that obstruction, finding t...
Published: 04/15/18
Updated: 04/16/18
Editorial: Hillsborough commission should quit expanding urban area

Editorial: Hillsborough commission should quit expanding urban area

Any movement on modernizing local transportation is welcome, even small steps like the million dollars the state recently approved to design a Tampa Bay regional transit plan.But the region wonít make any progress on transportation, its single most p...
Published: 04/13/18
Updated: 04/18/18

Editorial: Fight harder on citrus greening

A new report by scientists advising the federal government finds no breakthrough discovery for managing citrus greening, a chronic disease killing Floridaís citrus industry. This should be a wake-up call to bring greater resources to the fight.The re...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18

Editorial: Floridians should focus more on health

A new snapshot of the nationís health shows a mixed picture for Florida and the challenges that residents and the health care community face in improving the quality of life.Americans are living longer, exercising more and doing better at managing th...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18
Editorial: 5 key issues where Scott, Nelson differ in Senate race

Editorial: 5 key issues where Scott, Nelson differ in Senate race

Gov. Rick Scott kicked off his U.S. Senate campaign last week by reciting tired lines about career politicians and mischaracterizing himself as an outsider. That pitch may have worked during the tea party wave eight years ago, but now the Republican ...
Published: 04/10/18
Updated: 04/13/18
Editorial: St. Petersburg should move carefully on banning straws

Editorial: St. Petersburg should move carefully on banning straws

St. Petersburg city officials are exploring how to cut down on single-use plastic straws, a commendable effort to make the city even more environmentally minded. But to succeed, City Council members should craft a modest, reasonable restriction that ...
Published: 04/10/18