It was great to see youth volunteerism

Published 5:40 am Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Monday was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and while many kids took advantage of the day off from school, there were also many other young people who used the day to volunteer for their community.

Monday morning, a group of about a dozen cadets in the Bogalusa High School Jr. ROTC program volunteered several hours to clean up veterans’ plots at the Bogalusa Cemetery. These young men unearthed and lifted heavy grave stones and then replaced them later in the day, in order to be sure that visitors would be able to read them clearly, as they had previously been covered up by tall grass and weeds.

At the same time, more cadets volunteered at the Robert “Bob” Hicks house, helping to paint, remove drywall and clean up the landscaping surrounding what organizers hope will be a civil rights museum. While this volunteer spirit is admirable any day, it was especially appropriate on MLK Day. Many other young people, in addition to the cadets, also gave their time and talents to help with the museum improvement project.

There were also a number of young participants in the annual MLK Day march. In addition to those who walked, others rode bicycles or hoverboards, as a visible sign of the freedoms that King and other civil rights leaders earned for Americans years ago.

In this modern world, it is easy to blame young people for being lazy, or irresponsible, or unconcerned about others. But as Monday’s events showed, there are plenty of other kids and teenagers who are ready and willing to step up as future leaders, and to give their time to make their community a better place.