PARKER: The evolution of Michelle Obama

First-term first ladies are often shadows to their more-important husbands, dabbling in lite fare to avoid criticism and picking safe projects to shield them and their families from the inevitable slings and arrows.

CEPEDA: The damage of a strict upbringing

You don’t have to be Hispanic to remember a childhood run by a parent who wielded an iron fist. But if you are Hispanic, you’re more likely to — and might still have some emotional scars.

CLINE: A throwback role: the humble hero

These days there are a lot of folks drawing attention to themselves, making humble heroes like Deputy Kyle McMinn stand out even more.

THOMAS: Same-sex marriage is only the beginning

That the majority threw a bone to religious people, their churches and institutions, saying they could continue to preach and teach that homosexual marriage is wrong, will almost certainly be challenged by gay activists and secularists whose goal is to drive religious people, and especially Christians, out of the public square.

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DICK YARBROUGH: Five young men define a successful life

OPINION: Grandsons show Rob Neely, when it was all said and done, got it right

At Rob Neely’s service, his five grandsons reminisced about what made their grandfather special to them. They didn’t mention plaques or awards or pictures with important people or political influence or high profiles or any of the kinds of things that have tended to be my definition of success.

DARRELL HUCKABY: Advice for a marriage filled with happiness and joy

I have looked forward to this occasion for 26 years, ever since I looked down at that screaming little red-faced bundle of joy and named him Jackson Lee Huckaby, and I have prayed that he would find a wife that was as kind and loving and God-fearing as he has become.

SMITH: Bill Petty: Smalltown hero

The Internet doesn’t confirm that there are any famous people from Cohutta, but I maintain that Bill Petty, who grew up here, was a great American.

ROBINSON: The fall of the Confederacy

One hundred fifty years too late, the Confederacy may finally be coming to an end. Finishing it off, however, will require more than getting rid of an offensive flag.

REAGAN: Golf a nice diversion for the weekend

Sometimes you just have to get away from politics, if even for half a weekend.

Amazing grace in Charleston

It is such a rare act that most do not know how to respond, except in stunned silence. Relatives of the nine people murdered while attending a Bible study and prayer meeting at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, told the accused killer they forgive him.

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CLINE: Simple gesture makes major impact for more than 50 years

There is no shortage of charity work an octogenarian can do that would avoid any and all contact with prison inmantes, but Jean Brownlee was steadfast in her work at the prison, which included conducting Bible studies and helping inmates learn to read.

KRAUTHAMMER: A new strategy for Iraq and Syria

It’s time for a new strategy in Iraq and Syria. It begins by admitting that the old borders are gone, that a unified Syria or Iraq will never be reconstituted, that the Sykes-Picot map is defunct.

THOMAS: China’s big hack attack

The Associated Press reported “two people briefed on the investigation disclosed Friday that as many as 14 million current and former civilian U.S. government employees have had their information exposed to hackers, a far higher figure than the 4 million the Obama administration initially disclosed.”

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ASHLEY: It’s worth the effort to recycle glass

This is a call for everyone who cares about our planet to make the effort to increase our efforts to continue to recycle glass safely.

CLINE: Feeding the guest in my garden

What I like about these months is the fresh food that comes from trips to the farmers market and from our own garden as well.