When we get in our cars, it’s almost second nature to put on our seat belt, but that’s not possible for our children who ride school buses.
One student died and at least 10 others were injured when a school bus overturned in Carroll County earlier this month.
We all know about the tragedy that happened on Highway 27 South near Cuba Road just outside of Blakely just the day before. The pastor and three other members of a Columbus church lost their lives when their van overturned after a tire blew out.
The idea of requiring seat belts in buses, especially school buses, has been discussing for decades, but so far it is not a reality. Perhaps these latest tragedies will give renewed energy to the discussion of adding seat belts to buses. There will be a cost associated with this, but we think the savings in terms of human life will be worth the cost of adding the seat belts.
For many years, Georgia was the only state that did not require the use of seatbelts in pickup trucks, but now there is a law requiring their use. If law makers were persuaded to come around on the pickup truck law, then maybe the time is right for them to look at the school bus seat belt issue again.
For most of us, the war in Afghanistan and the continued military presence in Iraq are an afterthought. They don’t touch our everyday lives, but for some south Georgia families, they produce a top-of-mind awareness.
Naval Special Forces Senior Chief Petty Officer Blake McLendon of Thomasville was killed in September in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan
Senior Airman Michael Buras of Fitzgerald was killed in an explosion in Afghanistan in September.
Corporal Coty Sockalosky, a Marine from Cordele, died from wounds he suffered in an explosion in Afghanistan in October.
We are proud of the service and the sacrifice these young men made to their nation, and to the cause of freedom, in far-away lands. They did not have the blessings of longevity, or the blessing of seeing their children grow to adulthood. To have their lives end at such a young age brings special sadness.
But we are also proud of the many people who turned out to pay their respects to these fallen American warriors in Thomas, Ben Hill and Crisp County.
Next time you see someone in the military, make an effort to tell them “thank you,” because every day women and men like McLendon, Buras and Sockalosky put their lives on the line to protect our American freedoms.
We can live the American dream because young people like Blake McLendon, Michael Buras and Coty Sockalosky followed their dreams, which led them to wear our nation’s uniform, and to pay the ultimate price for our security.
Let’s don’t forget them.