Editorial roundup: Views from around Georgia

Valdosta Daily Times: Keep it upright

We encourage motorcycle riders to ride safely and urge all other motorists to be watchful of two- and three-wheeled vehicles on our roadways.

May is National Motorcycle Awareness Month.

Spring is a favorite time of year for motorcyclists and it can be an extremely hazardous time, according to state officials.

Motorcycles operate on the roadways with the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle.

State highway officials consistently encourage motorists and motorcyclists to “share the road.”

Motorcycle awareness and safety has been a priority in Georgia for the past few years and for good reason. Motorcycle accidents are often fatal.

Here are some tips from the Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program:

• Focus on driving/riding. Put away cell phones and other devices.

Signal intentions and look before changing lanes.

Use caution at intersections looking both ways before crossing or turning.

Wear a state Department of Transportation-approved helmet, reflective gear and bright colors when riding.

Evaluate your surroundings.

Drive/ride aware and alert.

Allow plenty of room between vehicles and avoid blind spots.

It should also be noted that motorcycle rallies and meet-ups often involve alcohol.

As dangerous as it is to drink and drive a car, it is even more dangerous to operate a motorcycle while drunk or buzzed. Just don’t do it.

Motorcycle riders are encouraged to take a safety course at one of the Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program-approved sites and to refresh skills and knowledge regularly. More information is available at www.dds.georgia.gov.

Ride safely.

The Union-Recorder (Milledgeville): Don't put off preventive care

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 41% of U.S. adults had delayed emergency and routine health care by the end of June 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hundreds of thousands of people delayed appointments for everything from cancer screenings to teeth cleanings. What’s worse is many people with health conditions such as diabetes went without routine care their sorely needed. The CDC statistics also state that avoiding or delaying medical care was most common among people with disabilities and people with two or more underlying medical conditions.

Now that millions have been fully vaccinated and others have received at least one dose of a vaccine, it’s time for all of us to get back on track health-wise.

The COVID-19 pandemic completely changed many aspects of our lives and how we go about our daily tasks. Masks remain commonplace in many instances, hand sanitizer is prevalent everywhere. If we are willing to take these preventative steps to care for ourselves and care for others, we must take the preventative step of getting back on track with our health care appointments and annual well-care visits.

Remember that there’s a big difference from appearing healthy at first glance and actually being healthy inside and out.

While telehealth has been a tremendous benefit during the pandemic, some health care practices require face-to-face care.

Preventative health care shouldn’t be looked upon as non-essential. In far too many cases, it’s lifesaving.

Don’t put it off any longer.

The Times-Enterprise (Thomasville): Saluting our men and women in the military on Armed Forces Day

May 15 was Armed Forces Day.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, on Aug. 31, 1949, Armed Forces Day was created to replace separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days — with the single-day celebration stemming from the unification of the Armed Forces, including the Marines, under one department — the Department of Defense.

In an excerpt from the presidential proclamation of Feb. 27, 1950, the DOD quotes Harry Truman saying, “Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 1950, marks the first combined demonstration by America’s defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, towards the goal of readiness for any eventuality. It is the first parade of preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense.”

The DOD chronicles the inaugural event: “The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated by parades, open houses, receptions and air shows. In Washington, D.C., 10,000 troops of all branches of the military, cadets and veterans marched past the President and his party. In Berlin, 1,000 U.S. troops paraded for the German citizens at Templehof Airfield. In New York City, an estimated 33,000 participants initiated Armed Forces Day ‘under an air cover of 250 military planes of all types.’ In the harbors across the country were the famed mothballed ‘battlewagons’ of World War II, the Missouri, the New Jersey, the North Carolina, and the Iowa, all open for public inspection. Precision flying teams dominated the skies as tracking radar were exhibited on the ground. All across the country, the American people joined together to honor the Armed Forces.”

The DOD quoted Gen. Omar N. Bradley, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff saying, “The heritage of freedom must be guarded as carefully in peace as it was in war. Faith, not suspicion, must be the key to our relationships. Sacrifice, not selfishness, must be the eternal price of liberty. Vigilance, not appeasement, is the byword of living freedoms. Our Armed Forces in 1950 — protecting the peace, building for security with freedom — are ‘Teamed for Defense.’”

It may sound cliché but freedom has never been free.

The liberties we all enjoy have come at great cost.

The men and women of our armed forces have given of themselves, sometimes even to the giving of their own lives, so we can all be free.

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