We celebrate veterans this weekend

This weekend we celebrate veterans. There will be parades in their honor across the country. Plumas County will follow suit with the annual parade in Greenville and each community hosts various events designed to honor veterans.

One of Feather Publishing’s own is a Vietnam veteran — Will Farris. He resides down the Canyon and periodically writes about the happenings there. This week he wrote a My Turn about attending another reunion of Bravo Company, an event he had avoided for years, but now attends because it brings a level of camaraderie that’s unique. It’s different from his postings about his malfunctioning water system, or the marauding bears that favor his apple trees. As a Vietnam veteran, Will’s homecoming was a far different experience than returning military personnel receive today. But now, when he attends these reunions, “Hi Doc” is what he hears, referencing his role as a medic. Will has stories to tell about what he experienced in Vietnam and if you ever get the chance, you should ask him. We recommend that you read his adjacent column — it is worth the time spent and is just one small act that we can do to recognize those who have served.

This week many Americans will enjoy a day off from work or school, and because Nov. 11 falls on a Sunday, the official observance will be Monday, Nov. 12, when banks, schools and government offices will be closed. Let’s take some of that time to think of the veterans we know, and go out of our way to say “thank you.”

The day after

This is what we wrote two years ago: It’s the day after the election, and we should have a new president … Let’s just hope that whatever the outcome, we can move forward (particularly nationally) and put this contentious, embarrassing presidential race behind us. It’s been said ad nauseam by political pundits and one of the candidates, that we will need to come together as a nation and heal. And they are right, but saying it will be a lot easier than actually accomplishing it.

Turns out we didn’t accomplish it. If anything, the past two years have been far worse than the year leading up to Election Day 2016. We don’t think that anything that transpired yesterday will change that — at least not on the political level. Maybe a message will have been sent to the politicians who didn’t win re-election; maybe if the voters overwhelming selected individuals who want to focus on mending this country; maybe …

We know that healing is not going to come from those at the top. The past two years have shown that. So it is going to have to come from somewhere else. It would be easy to say that it has to come from the people. That we need to send messages to our elected leaders; that we need to model the behavior ourselves. But is that a real solution or just something that we will quote in 2020 as another failure?

In an article published in Psychology Today following the 2016 presidential election John Sean Doyle wrote, “If roughly half of the nation disagrees with us, and we can accept that they are not all evil or ignorant, then there must be some basis for their beliefs. There must be something about what we believe that rings hollow or falls short for them. Do we have the courage to look at our own principles and assumptions and see the thin spots?  … The first step to healing, as individuals and as a country, is holding open the possibility for understanding.”

He continued, “As long as people have banded together in tribes, there have been disagreements about the most fundamental of principles. History has, no doubt, had more than its share of massacres and war. But that is not the whole of the human experiment. More often than not, in a less dramatic fashion, people have found ways to get along and even enrich one another’s lives, while disagreeing. There would not be any nations or cultures or communities left if this were not true. The wholly perplexing, incomprehensible, and foreign beliefs of my neighbors are just different answers to the exact same human questions we are all struggling with. We all want physical and economic safety. We want the best world for our children. We want to feel that we matter.”

Maybe there is hope. Maybe we can turn this around. Maybe we just need to get the message out. Maybe …

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