UP: To the bicyclists who braved the rain and cold to participate in the 17th annual Marietta Holiday Lights Bicycle Tour. The six- to 10-mile tour took riders through the city's neighborhoods and to the downtown area. Congratulations to the riders who participated in this yearly ride.
UP: To all of the New Year's Eve revelers who will bring in the new year and also will make arrangements not to drive home afterward.
UP: To Parkersburg and Belpre for leaving up their lighting displays through the end of the year to extend the beauty of the holiday season. Parkersburg's Holiday in the Park and Belpre's Holiday Lights Festival have delighted residents and visitors for the past month, and we are glad they will still be shining another few days.
UP: To the volunteers who help make possible the annual First Presbyterian Church Christmas Day dinner. This year - the 22nd year - the church served up approximately 600 meals, 500 in the first half-hour alone. Congratulations to all of the volunteers who give up a few hours of their Christmas to give some people who otherwise would be alone the chance to spend the holiday with others.
UP: To the life of retired Gen. H. "Stormin'" Norman Schwarzkopf. Schwarzkopf died Thursday at the age of 78. The much-decorated soldier was one of the greatest military minds in American history. He was wounded twice during two tours as a young officer in Vietnam. However, the highlight of his career was as the commander of the U.S.-led international coalition that drove Saddam Hussein's Iraqi forces out of Kuwait in 1991. Schwarzkopf was a true American icon and will be missed.