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Patriotic Volunteering

As Americans reassess what's important in their lives, they can follow President Bush's advice and seek out opportunities for volunteering. Already, millions of citizens have responded. With adequate training, many volunteers can take over some duties of police, fire, and public-health employees who have taken on added security work.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (which oversees AmeriCorps and Senior Corps) will implement President Bush's request for 10,000 volunteers in local communities. More may well be needed. Sens. John McCain (R) of Arizona and Evan Bayh (D) of Indiana have introduced sensible legislation to increase the size of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps to some 250,000 by the year 2010; about 100,000 of those individuals would be involved in meeting homeland security needs.

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Volunteers already are doing much to lessen fear, strengthen communities, maintain vigilance, and boost morale. More citizens participating in that effort in these less-than-certain times would be welcome.