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Our View: Thumbs up to Memorial Day ceremonies in Carroll, mobile vaccinations, comics coming from Hampstead | COMMENTARY

THUMBS UP: Carroll County has always done a good job celebrating veterans and commemorating holidays such as Memorial Day and, while lingering COVID-19 restrictions made planning most difficult, fallen heroes were well-honored this year. Nearly 100 gathered Sunday afternoon at Pleasant Valley Cemetery just as people have done for more than a century at the site. Donna Geiman, on behalf of the Pleasant Valley Community Memorial Service volunteers, noted that the earliest reference to the service was from a newspaper in 1918. The ceremony included music playing while flags were placed, the national anthem, “The Ones Who Didn’t Make it Back Home,” sung by Phyllis Clark, prayer and the names of the 130 veterans buried in the cemetery read aloud. “It is our duty and responsibility as citizens, to remember these brave sons of Carroll County,” guest speaker Kevin E. Dayhoff said. On Monday, American Legion Gold Star Post 191 hosted a Memorial Day service at Pine Grove Chapel in Mount Airy, attended by several hundred people including participants and guests. Sam Weinberg, commander of the post, shared with the crowd the significance to “setting aside this sacred day to commemorate our comrades who didn’t come home.” He said the program assures they will “never be forgotten.” Resident Dave Muller, who has served in the Army and the Army Reserves for 35 years, said the event is a reminder for everyone to honor “all the brave brothers and sisters who have given the ultimate sacrifice.” Meanwhile, Taneytown hosted a ceremony at just about the same time and, in the afternoon, a parade. Westminster couple Bill and Anne McKenna said after watching the parade go by they would have watched it a second time through if they could. “It’s exciting to see the town focus on what it’s all about,” Anne said.

THUMBS UP: Food Truck Sunday Funday, scheduled for June 13 at the Carroll County Farm Museum, is expected to have some 14 food trucks on hand, but also on the grounds will be a recreational vehicle serving up something a whole lot more important. The Carroll County Health Department is introducing a new initiative as health officials continue efforts to ensure the COVID-19 vaccine is accessible and convenient for county residents. Their Health on Wheels RV will make its debut during the Food Truck Sunday Funday, providing vaccines to those attending the event. “I’m looking forward to that day ... encouraging people and making it as easy as possible for people to get vaccinated,” Maggie Kunz, health planner, told the Board of Commissioners during Thursday’s open session. She said the department is still looking to bring the new RV to “places across the county” and is working with municipalities to coordinate its presence at different community events. Making the vaccination process as easy as possible is a good strategy. After all this time, with the vaccine available to all for many weeks, 54.4% of the overall county population has received at least one dose and 47.3% being completely vaccinated. That’s not high enough. We hope the Health on Wheels RV’s presence at summer events will help increase those numbers.

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THUMBS UP: We weren’t sure what would happen when Dart Container Corporation closed up its distribution plant and left Hampstead last year. Turns out, Penguin Random House had some “super” ideas about what to do with the space. Penguin Random House leased the more than 1 million-square-foot building to be a fourth national distribution center for books. In March, Marvel Comics and Penguin Random House Publisher Services, a division of Penguin Random House, announced an exclusive worldwide multi-year sales and distribution agreement for Marvel’s newly published and backlist comic books, trade collections, and graphic novels to comics shops. Penguin Random House will be responsible for distributing to over 2,000 comic book shops nationwide.“ Hampstead is going to be the centerpiece of the Marvel Comics distribution,” company spokesperson Stuart Applebaum said, noting that Marvel is one of the largest publishers of comic content, coming out with new titles every Wednesday. Hampstead resident John Wilson, a self-proclaimed “giant Marvel nerd” for well over a decade now, told us, “This is another way to put Hampstead on the map. To have that here is a big deal.”

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