Letter from the Editor
Published: Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 19:09
During an election year, our country divides into groups based on political beliefs. We are faced with questions about health care, immigration, the economy, abortion, gay marriage, gun laws and more. There are some issues we feel strongly about and some we are not sure what to think.
As a student, mother, wife and recently sworn federal employee, I wear many different hats. It seems each issue comes with a different response from me depending on which hat I am wearing. But there is a common ground we all share, democratics, republicans and independents alike.
It seems it takes a tragedy for us to become patriots.
Immediately following 9/11, you couldn’t pass three houses without seeing an American flag displayed.
Last week, I met a gentleman who is riding his bike across the country in the Long Road Home project. He, along with four other cyclists, started in Seattle and will end their journey in Washington D.C. When the cyclists arrived in Omaha, they had been on the road for six weeks and expected to be on the road another six weeks. They are riding in a tribute to our veterans. When I spoke to him about his ride, which he is making with a hand cycle as he is disabled, I asked him how he is able to make such a trip in the heat and for so long. The veteran said he doesn’t need any motivation other than the vision of his American flag hanging on his bike. He told me it is enough to remember how much our country’s veterans have endured, and he can keep pushing forward.
We can all take a lesson from this man. Beyond patriotism, it is basic humanism. We don’t all need to ride a bike across the country to honor veterans.
But we can make a point to be kinder. When you see someone who could use a hand, give it. Do not hesitate to thank a soldier, a veteran, a doctor, a teacher, a police officer, a firefighter. Don’t be afraid to say you are proud to be an American. Because foreign policy, capitalism and economics do not define us. What defines us is our need to be better.
Since our country was founded, we have pushed towards a better future. We make a difference in this world and we value human life. Don’t forget what we were reminded of after we watched the horror unfold in September of 2001. Our differences make us progressive, but our hearts make us American.