Rose and thorns: 5/24/20




A rose to our fallen, but not forgotten, service men and women this Memorial Day weekend. In these remarkable times, when we are often preoccupied with our own challenges as we face the lingering effects of the pandemic, we fear it may be easy to let this national holiday slip our minds. The virus has, after all, interrupted many of the rhythms of American life, and there's a danger this holiday may pass without notice. Columbus is one of several cities to lay claim to the origins of Memorial Day, so it has a special historical significance here. Since 1866, the holiday has honored the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have died in service to their country. It was an awesome sacrifice, one that continues to warrant our respect and gratitude. So let's make sure we take a moment to reflect on such selfless service and what it has meant to the preservation of our nation and its ideals.



A rose to Mississippi State, which has dropped two required tests for students wishing to enroll in the university's graduate programs this summer and fall. The two tests -- General Management Admission Test (GMAT) and the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) -- were previously required of incoming graduate students, but the university is waiving those tests in response to the difficulties presented by COVID-19. The tests are not cheap -- $250 for GMAT and $160 for GRE. We applaud the university for recognizing the difficulty students have in making their plans in this uncertain and stressful time. We hope all universities with graduate programs will adopt similar waivers as well.




A rose to Col. Seth Graham, who was installed as wing commander of the 14th Flying Training Wing at Columbus Air Force Base on Monday. Graham replaces wing commander Col. Samantha Weeks, who has retired. Graham identifies himself first as a pilot - he's been flying bombers for almost all of his 27-year Air Force career. That passion will be reflected in his new role in helping student pilots earn their wings. Graham will not actually arrive at CAFB until July (he is currently training on the same aircraft used by the CAFB student pilots), but his affection for these young pilots precedes his arrival. Every wing commander brings a unique perspective to the position and while wing commanders are with us only briefly (two-year assignments), their impact can have profound and enduring effects. We have no doubt the same will hold true during Col. Graham's assignment. We wish him all the best as we eagerly await his arrival.




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