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Darts & laurels: Festival cheer, trauma in Texas and a day of remembrance

Laurels to Saturday’s Cheerwine Festival, which proved that you don’t have to be celebrating a centennial to draw a crowd. Cheerwine footed the bill for last year’s big 100th birthday celebration. When the city volunteered to partner with the company on an annual festival, Cheerwine agreed — and the rest is sweet, bubbly history. Some 30,000 people showed up, about the same as last year, and their enthusiasm showed. The celebration was spread over more blocks this time, a boon for downtown merchants. And the whole thing helped a couple of local charities, too. Proceeds from Cheerwine sales were donated to Rowan Helping Ministries, and all the aluminum Cheerwine cans will be recycled to support Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary. The Second Annual Cheerwine Festival was a winner all around. Thanks to Cheerwine and the city of Salisbury for making it happen. We’re looking forward to next year already.

Dart to yet another school shooting, this one in Santa Fe, Texas. This time the shooter did not wield an AR-15, or he might have plowed down even more people. As it is, 10 people are dead and another community has been traumatized. What a shame that schools have become the target of choice in the eyes of disturbed or unhappy teens who feel a need to lash out. Schools are not the only targets of assault — churches, concert crowds and other places where people gather have been the scene of massacres — but schools may be the most vulnerable.

Laurels to Memorial Day, now less than a week away. We try to honor veterans in many ways, but Monday will be the day to remember those who have died while in active service to their country. The holiday started with the tradition of placing flowers on graves after the Civil War. Decoration Day evolved into Memorial Day, and these days Boy Scouts and other volunteers put flags on the graves instead of blossoms. Memorial Day has come to mark the beginning of summer, but its solemn purpose must not be forgotten. This is the time to remember those who have helped keep our country free. “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died,” Gen. George S. Patton once said. “Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”

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