Rough times, with the virus and all, but there’s an awful lot to smile about in the Manhattan area lately. Here’s a brief list of items we’d like to salute:

--Mothers. It’s Mother’s Day. We don’t have to say a lot more. If you can, give your mom a hug. If you can’t, call her. She is the person who brought you into this world, and you owe her everything. This is the day to honor her -- well, that ought to happen every day, but this is the formal one -- and you ought to make a point of it.

That also goes for the women who step into a mom’s role, even if they didn’t give birth. Adoptive moms, foster moms, stepmoms. They take on the burdens, sometimes without all the rewards, and they deserve to be honored, too. Grandmas, aunts -- anyone who’s a mom figure.

--Dr. Steve Short. He volunteered his time at a hospital in Brooklyn at the height of the coronavirus disaster, caring for the sick and the dying. A pulmonologist in Manhattan (ours, not theirs) for many years, he knew that he was needed more there than he was here. He was right; the pandemic has not bombarded the hospital here, but he was surrounded by “constant death,” as he put it.

--Lyle Butler. Gov. Laura Kelly put the retired head of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce in the lead of a committee to help the state’s economy recover from the pandemic. He’s widely respected as a consensus-builder, and we know he’ll do a great job. It’s an honor well-deserved, and an appropriate choice by the Governor.

--World War II vets. Seventy-five years ago, the Nazis gave up. Although the world is going through another crisis right now, we’re living in a far better world because of the service of our veterans.

--Barbara Valent. The K-State plant pathology professor earned an induction into the National Academy of Sciences, described as the equivalent of an Oscar for academics. She earned it for her work on diseases that affect rice and wheat.

--Anne Boyer. The K-State graduate won the Pulitzer Prize last week for her book, “The Undying,” about dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis. Originally from Topeka, she walked across the stage in Manhattan to get her K-State degree in English in 1996.

And then there’s Dennis Ruhnke, who we wrote about earlier in this space but deserves one more sentence. He donated a spare mask to New York during the height of the pandemic, and thereby showed what Kansas is all about. He got his degree from K-State this past week, too.

Lots of bad news, fear, fright, death and conflict. But also plenty of cause for happiness and pride in the people of our community.

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