On Oct. 28, Charleston lost a civic leader who exemplified the ideals of volunteerism, altruism and a deep-abiding devotion to our city and its institutions.
Tommy Thornhill was my business partner, mentor and close friend. He passed away three weeks after his 91st birthday.
Mr. Thornhill’s legacy of service began at age 16, when he joined the Army Transport Service during World War II. He served for 26 years in the Army Reserve, retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
As a community leader, his unprecedented record of volunteerism will surely stand the test of time. Perhaps no other local business leader has held more top positions with more civic organizations. The honors and awards bestowed on him are too numerous to name. However, one of the last he received was the Order of the Palmetto from Gov. Henry McMaster, on the 70th anniversary celebration of the Historic Charleston Foundation.
And yet Mr. Thornhill, ever humble, wasn’t in it for the recognition. To convince him to allow us to throw a party for his retirement, we had to label it as a celebration of several company-wide milestones. He told me in no uncertain terms that if it were a party just for him, he would not attend.
Even after his “retirement” at the age of 87, he continued to come to the office every day for the next two years.
Mr. Thornhill was passionate about everything Charleston, which included historic preservation. He founded the Old Charleston Joggling Board Co., which helped revive interest in a centuries-old South Carolina tradition.
“This is a wonderful city,” he often said. “We’ve got to really work at it. We can’t just enjoy it. We’ve got to teach people who move here to love Charleston like we love Charleston.”
I hope those words of admonition, as well as Mr. Thornhill’s tremendous example, will be long remembered by every citizen who has the privilege to live here.
ROBERT L. CLEMENT III
Ovarian cancer fight
The South Carolina Ovarian Cancer Foundation Lowcountry Chapter held its inaugural Cocktails with a Cause on Oct. 24 at the Harbour Club in Charleston. We were grateful for such an incredible show of support by many friends in the community, but we must shine a light on one group in particular.
The Hat Ladies of Charleston are a tremendous group of selfless individuals who gave the gift of time to our awareness efforts. Smiling faces and kind words were shared by these lovely women.
We ended the night grateful for those who stood in support of our awareness efforts for this disease that takes the lives of so many women each year. Kudos to the Hat Ladies who inspire others to be good citizens. The SCOCF Lowcountry Chapter thanks each of you for your kindness. This community is blessed to have you.
Stomping on rights
In 1775, the British army stomped on the rights of citizens in what is now the United States. In 1936, Hitler’s army stomped on the rights of those living in Germany and the rest of Europe.
In 2019, Democrats running for president want to stomp on the rights of all middle-class taxpayers. In every case, they go after your guns, food, home and bank account.
Their campaign slogan seems to be, “Capitalism is bad,” and suggests that socialism would be good for the country. How did we get back to the same place we started from 244 years ago?
DENNIS L. COMPTON
Expand DUI law
I wish the S.C. Legislature would consider expanding the felony DUI law to include accidents involving texting and calling while driving.
This might make my family a little safer on the road.
Isle of Palms
Setting record straight
A Nov. 1 Post and Courier letter to the editor inaccurately represents my position on I-526. It stated I was “firmly against the completion of I-526.”
I am not opposed to I-526. This project should have been completed decades ago at a fraction of the cost.
Also, I did not file “a lawsuit opposing the project.” This case is about fiscal accountability. In 2016, voters approved a half-cent sales tax. Fifteen shovel-ready road projects and drainage improvements were on the list; I-526 was not.
The county pledged these funds to I-526 anyway.
Regardless of how you feel about I-526, the county should not fund it with money voters earmarked for other projects, especially those for flooding relief.
I-526 is not a city of Charleston project; it is a county and state effort. I am focused on issues germane to city government. If elected, I will not impede I-526 in any way.