Editorial: Week chips away at drugs in society
This week, the nation observes Red Ribbon Week, a time for adults and young people alike to reflect on the dangers of drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse and to instill in all of us that "The Best Me Is Drug-Free."
In Prescott, students will tie red ribbons to the fence in front of Abia Judd Elementary School, and their principal, Rosemary Agneessens, will encourage them to participate in conversations with their parents about the importance of avoiding drugs. Taylor Hicks Elementary School Principal Brian Moore will talk to his students each morning about living their lives drug-free.
This message cannot come early enough to youngsters, with hopes they will pay attention to the wisdom of what it says and resolve to never get involved with drugs.
Red Ribbon Week honors DEA Special Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena who was brutally murdered in 1985 by drug traffickers out of revenge by Mexican drug cartels for a multimillion dollar narcotics operation in Chihuahua, Mexico, that he was instrumental in busting. People of his hometown, Calexico, Calif., united and wore red ribbons to commemorate Camarena's sacrifice.
This small beginning sparked a nationwide unity against illegal drugs, and in 1988 the National Family Partnership organized the first national Red Ribbon Week, which was proclaimed by the U.S. Congress and chaired by Nancy Reagan.
When we wear red ribbons this week, we demonstrate our opposition to illegal drugs and at the same time pay respect to Camarena and all the other men and women who have died in the war on drug trafficking and abuse.
Yes, most of us agree that the war on drugs seems endless, no matter the amount of education and resources we invest in fighting it. But, we must keep chipping away at such a destructive force that touches so many lives.
This year's Red Ribbon Week offers a contest for those who decorate the front of their homes with the message, "The Best Me Is Drug Free." They can take a photo of the display and submit it to www.redribbon.org/contest or www.facebook.com/RedRibbonWeek by Nov. 2. People can jump on the bandwagon and vote for their friends' and families' entries at www.redribbon.org/vote from Nov. 2 to Nov. 16.
The winner will receive a $1,000 drug-prevention grant for his or her school and a new iPad to take home.
This is a tangible reward for pledging to stay drug-free.
But, the greatest prize of all is carrying through life the message that "The Best Me Is Drug-Free" and the vision of the simple red ribbon.