The extremes help put things in perspective.
Chatting with other guests on Memorial Day after the dedication of Grovetown's magnificent Veterans Memorial Wall, there was one common theme: It sure was hot.
The ceremony was outstanding, inspiring, patriotic - all the things a Memorial Day observance should be. But it was also very hot; 91 degrees in the shade, except there was little shade.
But then I thought about Shawn Hammond. Two days earlier, his brother, Lawrence, passed along the tidbit that he'd just heard from Shawn, who is serving in Iraq. "It was 113 degrees this morning," Lawrence said.
Somehow, 91 degrees didn't seem so hot anymore.
Charles Lord, a Grovetown historian, presented a military history of Columbia County that included a period-dressed soldiers from the Revolutionary War, through the Civil War, World War II and the modern era.
Along with the time they spanned, those soldiers represented a temperature range from the extreme winter cold of Valley Forge all the way to the brutal summer heat of Iraq.
Enduring a little discomfort while dedicating a memorial in their honor is the least we can do.
God bless them all.
For those who didn't make it to Grovetown's Heritage Fest, or Columbia County's Red White and Blue Veterans Celebration, it's worth stopping by to see the new markers.
A granite and bronze monument dedicating the Norwood Memorial Plaza now sits in front of the Justice Center in Evans. And the Veterans Memorial Wall in front of city hall in Grovetown is stunning.
Anyone with a family member from Columbia County who served in the military can fill out an application to have the name added to the wall. The applications are available at the Grovetown Museum.
As the Memorial Day holiday began, one of the weirder things to pop out of the fax machine was a verbose "Statement on Ben Harbin" from Lee Benedict, a candidate for the 24th District state Senate seat.
The rambling content even includes a quote from an obscure movie character, Buckaroo Banzai.
Boiled down, the essay says: Benedict demanded that Harbin "stand... at a podium and accept... responsibility for his actions" for his May 20 DUI charge. Since Harbin didn't bow to the ultimatum, Benedict declares the incident "will not be forgotten."
Benedict has never been elected to anything outside of internal Republican Party office in New York. Harbin, meanwhile, is a highly regarded (though temporarily tarnished) local lawmaker who has risen to one of the top committee chairmanships in the Georgia House.
Yet this political newbie is lecturing a sitting lawmaker, and rebuking him publicly when he fails to take his advice?
How hopelessly naive. If Harbin followed Benedict's tediously delivered dictum, he would forfeit his right to defend himself in court just to satisfy the huffy demands of a political wannabe.
As my brother-in-law is fond of saying: "Ain't gonna happen, cap'n."
Or, to quote Buckaroo Banzai: "That's a big no can do."
Time to talk
Having said all that, Harbin's lack of public comment since the arrest has been a huge disappointment - and at Saturday's Republican Party breakfast, his absence made him the subject of gossip and the butt of jokes.
When former Columbia County School Superintendent Tom Dorhmann came under attack during his tenure, he refused to speak out in his own defense. That made it difficult for his allies to speak up for him.
Harbin, in his public silence, is creating the same problem. And time is running out for him to fix it.
Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail comments to barry.paschal at newstimesonline.com.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.