Flood fight leadership is crucial
There is no question that the volunteer work of Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo college and high school students has been crucial in fighting the flood of 2009 -- just as it was in 1997. The efforts of young people on the sandbag lines deserve high praise and the community's thanks.
But as we acknowledge the good work of youthful volunteers, we also must recognize the incredible labors of city and county workers, National Guard personnel, federal agency people and the men and women working for private contractors. They are putting in long hours in difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions.
Whether drivers of big machines, law enforcement officers preparing for possible evacuations or municipal leaders coordinating the massive flood protection effort, we are witnessing an impressive display of professionalism and dedication. Their work goes beyond their pay grades. Their commitments to the job and community are mainstays in holding back the Red River and its swollen tributaries.
And it's not happening only in metro Fargo-Moorhead. Every at-risk county and city in the Red River Valley has seen leadership rise to the occasion. Communities don't necessarily mobilize themselves. They need leaders, and from Kindred, N.D., to Hendrum, Minn., from Wahpeton, N.D., to Crookston, Minn., elected officials and government workers are putting in the time.
We salute them. -- The Forum