The past week, in the aftermath of the Presidential Election, we have been worrying about what lies ahead. It has been nerve-wracking, but it seems clear that there is a decision and Joe Biden is our President-elect. What happens now is a peaceful transition. This has been a historic election on many levels – it’s been the most votes ever cast nationwide, with an unprecedented number of mail in ballots, and early voting. It is heartening as this single action, a vote, has equal weight from the most powerful corporate CEO to the everyday American – you and I. This is one of the most important rights we have.
I wouldn’t be writing about a free and democratic election if not for the men and women who have served our country in our military. It is important we recognize that our freedom and our rights have been continually protected by them. These are freedoms won in the battlefields of the American Revolution and Civil War, on the shores of France and battlefields of Europe, the Pacific Islands, Korea, Vietnam the Middle East and Afghanistan, over centuries and defended from so many threats.
Veteran’s Day 2020 will be like no other before. Due to the restrictions of COVID-19, we won’t assemble, we won’t gather at the Veteran’s Monument to honor those who have served. It is frustrating, sad, but a reality we have become more accustomed to. So now it’s up to us to celebrate and honor these men and women. In the same way that every vote is an effective way to have a voice; every spoken word of gratitude, every gesture of sincere thanks, will continue to be an important part of who we are and the respect we show as a country. Maybe it seems too simple, but words of support have a strength of meaning – they make a difference and define us as empathetic, generous, and most importantly, as Americans.
The election brought out a clear separation in our America. It is layered and made more strained by a raging pandemic. We feel the wounds and wonder how we can heal. The greatest thing we can all do is to focus on our common cause and the greatness of who we are as a nation. Let’s begin with words of unity and thankfulness. Let us reframe, start again, and remember why we are free.
On behalf of the Village Board of Trustees, I offer my thanks and gratitude to the men and women of our community and country for your dedicated military service and through that service, the gift of a democratic and free nation.