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All those bright yellow trash bags dotting the roadsides represent some wonderful — and awful — aspects of our community.

Floyd S. Crocker, 76, died April 13, 2017, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle.
George L. Smith Sr., 81, died April 19, 2017, in Fall City, Washington.
Margaret Mae Bolton, 83, died April 15, 2017, in Ketchikan.
Earth Day

We're kind of fond of this Earth; it's home.

We're not alone.

Alaskans, along with many other Americans, appreciate the beauty and the natural resources. Both are astounding in Southeast Alaska and around the state.

While the Earth has plenty of beautiful and amazing scenes, Alaska's rank at the top — majestic mountains, clear and cold rivers and streams, blue and energetic waters, and sunrises and sunsets beyond the imagination.

Resources — oil, fish, minerals, trees — all provide the basis of an economy for Alaskans who live here because of the beauty and the opportunities in development, or the opportunities to provide goods and services to those who develop the resources.

Alaska is a grand place, but it isn't the only locale that inspires awe. Every state and nation has its beauty. If not that of a rainforest, as Southeast enjoys, then a desert, the Arctic, the tropics or the like stands out for its unique and tremendous grandeur.

For all of this, we take time to be thankful today — Earth Day.

In 1970, Earth Day came about. Since its inception in the United States, it has become a day recognized by 192 nations.

Millions of people observe Earth Day by picking up trash and debris in their communities. Others plant trees.

Both types of events are scheduled in Ketchikan today. Ketchikan School District students will be out with trash bags collecting trash, as they have done on previous Earth days.

A plaque will be placed next to a Ketchikan High School cherry tree, which was planted years ago by local students who corresponded with a Florida teacher who gave it to the district.

Today Ketchikan and Alaska joins the world in celebrating this wonderful place where we live — the Earth.