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Noted and passed - Aug. 11, 2014

Posted: August 8, 2014 8:45 a.m.
Updated: August 11, 2014 6:00 a.m.

• The death of a soldier is never easy to take and yet the fact that soldiers can die in battle or when otherwise in harm’s way is an inevitable fact of military life. In today’s world, however, when we hear about the death of a general it is usually after they have retired from serving their country. So, it was surprising and upsetting to hear that U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene died last week after being shot in a “lone gunman” attack at a training facility in Afghanistan. According to the Army, Greene was serving as deputy commanding general of the Combined Security Transition Command. It’s primary goal is to train and develop Afghan security forces, like the Afghan National Army, teaching them to how to be a professional Army and Air Corps. In addition to being a dedicated officer, we have read that he was a nice man. As it turns out, retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Julian Burns, of Camden, served with him and considered him a friend. This week, he is attending one of several memorial services for Greene. Burns said that Greene was “a great American patriot.” Of that, we have no doubt. He was also a husband, father to two grown children and neighbor to those living in a Falls Church, Va., community. “He will be missed,” Burns said. Nothing more needs to be said.

• Sticking with a military theme for a moment, how about Freddie Wilson’s recounting of the March 1943 massive parachute jump by members of 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR)? Many living here have heard the story, but few who actually witnessed it are still around. Wilson, 86, was 14 when he watched more than 1,000 soldiers descend on Lugoff near where INVISTA is today. With the triumphant sight came tragedy, as three soldiers lost their lives when a second wave of planes hit their parachutes. Still, the exercise proved that U.S. troops could conduct such an operation. As a matter of fact, an article on History.net says that just four months later, the 505th’s 2nd Battalion was the only PIR to land together during an operation on Sicily. Unfortunately, they landed 25 miles off target. Even so, they caused a “massive headache” for defending Germans and Italians. And to think, Wilson saw it all start in Lugoff.

• After what happened in Toledo, Ohio, with a ban on drinking contaminated water from Lake Erie, it was understandable that folks down our way were a little nervous after learning about algae blooms on Lake Wateree, even if they were up in Fairfield County near Great Falls. Luckily, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, the city of Camden and Lugoff-Elgin Water Authority (L-EWA) are, apparently, doing everything they can to make sure that we can both drink water from the lake and take a dip if we so choose in its waters. The best news: that both Camden and L-EWA’s plants are already using processes to scrub toxins out and that Camden had proactively sent off water samples to be tested. While there’s always a chance that algae blooms could get out of control, we’re confident that right now our water is safe for everyone to enjoy.

 

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