Editorial: Have you thanked a government staffer lately
Even west central Minnesota can be a dangerous place at times. Our safety is guarded by many dedicated individuals within our various governments - local, county, state and federal - who serve the people, often without concern for their own safety.
Sometimes it can be a personal conflicts, such as the confrontation that led Delbert Huber and his son, Timothy Huber, to the killing of Timothy Larson on a rural Belgrade farm.
Sometimes it is in local, state and federal law enforcement who respond to a potentially violent situation, such as the Buford Rogers arrest in Montevideo for allegedly having illegal possession of firearm-explosives caches and allegedly planning domestic terror acts.
Sometimes it is an accident the endangers the public, such as the semi-truck and train collision on the BNSF Railway track west of Murdock that resulted in an anhydrous ammonia leak.
It is an easy excuse to blame government for all the ills as one sees it. Granted, there are different sides to every story and there are legitimate gripes against government at all levels.
However, government does many good things that are too often overlooked.
It was county and judicial personnel that investigated the Timothy Larson murder, prosecuted the Hubers and conducted the Huber murder trial.
It was local, state and federal personnel that conducted an investigation leading to the disruption of a possible domestic terror event in Montevideo.
It was county, state and school personnel that responded Tuesday appropriately and quickly to the sem-train collision near Murdock and resulting anhydrous ammonia leak. And they are still out there dealing with the situation.
And it was city, county and state personnel that kept our roads plowed in our recent long winter.
It is easy to complain about government, but try living somewhere where there is no government - like Somalia or somewhere the government is ineffective or corrupt - like Iran or Afghanistan.
So think about it. And while you're thinking, take a minute to thank the next government staffer who helps you out - even if you're safely getting a ticket for driving too fast.