To all who went to the polls Tuesday, a thumbs up. Granted, that might mean an exceptionally low number of people getting a thumbs up, based on the turnout results we’ve seen, but those who did act on their right, privilege and duty to vote do deserve recognition. The rest? Well, obviously a thumbs down. Take an interest in what is going on politically. We’re not asking you to run for office, although that would be fine (provided you actually do vote). We’re not asking you to be able to recite the names of every U.S. senator and representative. We’re not asking you to even know the names of every state representative and senator. But elections are important, and it’s important every able-bodied voter participate in the process. Please.

We don’t get it. It seems a regular occurrence around here that someone is charged with neglect of animals. It seems counterintuitive that someone would almost hoard animals, be they a brood of dogs, cats or even large animals, such as horses, and let them starve and die.
One would think the person who has such a collection, if you will, would be animal lovers. As such, one would think the person would care for, provide for these creatures. Not so, apparently, in many cases as just this week a Honea Path woman was charged with animal neglect and a host of other charges. She apparently had a dead horse, five malnourished horses, goats, dogs, chickens on her property. People such as this certainly get a thumbs down. At the very least. What is the root cause of such action? We’d like to know, too. Sadly, we doubt any law will make a difference and lead to prevention of such cruelty. Maybe it is a sickness, sort of like hoarding.

You might have noticed a few stories, republished columns written by World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle and even a letter or two related to that war. Good. We hope you did. The stories that are yet being told in the voices of those who served so many years ago during World War II are important voices. They tell of a time so many people today really cannot fathom, not even in the wake of 9/11. And so we once again salute the handful of World War II veterans who remain with us. We deeply appreciate their service and what they did not only for America’s freedom, but for the whole world. A thumbs up to them? Sure, but that is hardly sufficient. A thumbs up, however, goes out to those who did not serve, but who realize the sacrifice made by those who did and who give veterans all due respect.

And finally, a large and green thumbs up to the 47th Festival of Flowers. We already witnessed the increased traffic -- auto and pedestrian -- around Uptown as visitors flock to see the many wonderful topiaries that have come to symbolize the longtime Greenwood County event. Much is already well underway for the festival’s June run and there will be plenty more activities coming next week. Music, arts and crafts, a wine walk and more await you and the many thousands of people who make the annual trek to participate in the festival. Next weekend is what is typically referred to as the “main weekend” of the festival, and it’s sure to be a good one. So, come on out and enjoy. And remember this, please: As you are out and about for Festival of Flowers and as you encounter strangers, remember that they very well might not only be visitors from out of town, but also potential future residents. Use the good manners mamma taught you. You are representing Greenwood and the surrounding Lakelands.