So much at stake: Time to find some common ground

As the 2020 presidential election has been called for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the new rhetoric the country has heard from them both has been of unity, inclusion, problem solving and equality. It is a 180-degree turnaround from the running commentary of our current president, Donald Trump, who, as he has done for the past four years and more, continues to sow division, disrespect for opponents and conspiracy theories. It is to be hoped that the nation can accept a more balanced reality as it faces the same challenges post-election as it did pre-election, including a rampant pandemic, an economy ravaged by it, climate change, racial injustice and systemic racism. The list can go on. Does it seem impossible, however, to move on to a more unified United States? Can Americans come together to find ways to solve our problems? 

One thing that could point to possible success is the ongoing annual shared tradition of commemorating Veterans Day, nationwide and locally. The ceremonies honoring veterans on Nov. 11 brought together Americans of all backgrounds, of all races, genders and religions. And this happened in many municipalities of all sizes across the country.

In the Northwest Corner, it is often the same faces year to year that are seen at the Veterans Day ceremonies in each town. That is surely the same across the country. Even with COVID-19 restrictions, most of the small towns here held some kind of gathering to honor those who have served in the United States Armed Forces. This ongoing tradition of recognition for service to country is one thing that remains constant. It pulls people together rather than apart, and has since Nov. 11, 1918, when that date marked the end of World War I. 

No matter the turmoil surrounding the elections, or war or other societal upheaval over the years, Veterans Day ceremonies bring together those who served and those supporting them every year. This is something that should give all of us comfort, and that should be fully appreciated as giving veterans the recognition they deserve. 

Because of the timing of the day this year, the coverage of area ceremonies will appear in next week’s Lakeville Journal, Nov. 19. Look for stories and photos then of all the Northwest Corner towns that had Veterans Day commemorations. 

And thank you to all veterans for your service, and for continuing this tradition across the country, and here in our towns. Thank you for giving your fellow citizens some base of normality and mutual respect. It is such gatherings that should give all of us hope that in the aftermath of the highly divisive and sometimes toxic 2020 election season, there will be a way for all sides to come together and share love of country as Americans, not as partisans. 

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