Sometimes the hardest lessons in life come from experience and pain.
A simple “don’t touch the stove” to a curious child is almost an invitation. But on a second encounter “don’t touch the stove or you’ll get burned again” means much more because the child remembers the pain and the burn.
As parents and grandparents, we want our children to listen to our words and avoid any serious injury. And as parents and grandparents, we also understand that a willful child probably won’t.
But unlike little fingers that get burnt on a stove, which can heal with a little TLC and a bit of salve, there are some mistakes and accidents a child can’t recover from. There are choices our children make as they advance to the teenage years that can have lifelong consequences.
These are the kinds of bad choices with no second chances.
As the prom and graduation season approaches, we tell our children not to break the underage drinking laws. We tell them not to drink and drive. We tell them never to get into a car with someone who has been drinking alcohol or using drugs. We tell them to wear their seat belts. We tell them to make good decisions.
But in far too many cases, just one lapse in judgment, just one moment in time when all the lessons we’ve taught them escape them in a blur of peer pressure in the wee hours of the morning after too many drinks, could be the moment we lose a child to a fatal accident. It could be the moment we lose a child to the legal system. It could be the moment they lose their future and any chance of achieving the goals they’ve set for themselves.
That’s not a lesson to be learned. They never get a second chance to avoid the bad decisions they’ve made to see an alternate outcome.
We applaud Marion County Emergency Services’ recent mock DUI accident held at Fairmont Senior High School and two more scheduled for East Fairmont and North Marion high schools. The Fairmont Fire Department, the Marion County Rescue Squad and the Fairmont City Police Department participated in the re-enactment to show the students step by step what could happen if someone chooses to drink and operate a vehicle. While we hope our children never have to experience the consequences of drinking and driving firsthand, as FSHS driver’s education teacher Bob Costelac said, the simulation “is as close to reality as you could possibly get.”
The presentation showed the process from when an accident happens all the way to arresting someone for driving under the influence. Students were taken outside to a car that had been wrecked prior to the event, with three individuals in the accident. One FSHS student played the driver of the wrecked vehicle and another student played the passenger while a young boy played the driver’s little brother. In the re-enactment, the driver’s brother was killed in the accident and the passenger was seriously injured. The driver was taken for a field sobriety test and was arrested for drinking and driving.
Maddison Bowen, a junior at FSHS who played the driver in the re-enactment, said even though she knew it wasn’t real, it felt like she had just gotten in an accident.
“All the noises and what the people were saying, it was terrifying,” she said.
We hope that like Bowen, the upperclassmen who witness the accident simulation take something away. We hope that when choices are being made, the visual memory of the crashed car, the child being cut from the vehicle by emergency workers, the lights and sirens of the police car all come to mind. And we hope that makes decisions a little easier during prom and graduation season and long after.
Sometimes the hardest lessons in life come from experience and pain.
Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial
NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.
Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives
It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
- Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer
Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life
Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?
Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.
Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions
This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year
It’s happening again.
It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.
County honors men who gave all in helping their community
The next time you’re driving in the Rivesville area, you might notice new signs on two of the area’s bridges.
Those signs, which bear the names of Alex Angelino and Denzil O. Lockard, were unveiled Saturday in honor of the men whose names they display, two men who died while serving their communities.
The bridge on U.S. 19 over Paw Paw Creek was named to honor Lockard, while the bridge on U.S. 19 over Pharaoh Run Creek was named to honor Angelino. Lockard, a former Rivesville police chief, died in 1958 at the age of 48 while directing traffic. Angelino, a Rivesville firefighter, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1966.
State must learn to keep costs down and perform more efficiently on less
The West Virginia state government began its budget year last Tuesday with a small surplus of $40 million — less than 1 percent of its annual tax revenues — thanks only to dipping into its savings.
Let’s not do that again.
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- Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial