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City’s cold war has chilling effect

History tells us that the Korean War officially came to an end July 27, 1953, when the United States, China, North Korea and South Korea agreed to an armistice.

Three years after the start of the bloody and frustrating war, a new border was drawn between North and South Korea, a demilitarized zone between the two nations was created and prisoners of war were given the choice to stay where they were or return to their homelands.

Despite this truce, relations between the two Koreas were uneasy. Until April. That is when the leaders of the two countries met for a historic summit and vowed to negotiate a treaty.

Ironically, there was a thawing of tension between the two nations during the winter Olympics in February, when they presented a unified front.

Though their agreement to create a nuclear-weapon-free Korean peninsula still has some details to be worked out, it’s a step in the right direction.

It seems to me that after six decades of confrontation, many Korean citizens may not fully understand the reasons for the ongoing hostility. Odds are there are likely more residents of the two countries born after the truce than those who lived through the battle.

Yet that hatred and simmering anger toward those on the other side of the Demilitarized Zone continued. Why? Because it was always there. And so they took up arms — even if they were just figurative weapons.

I see similar feelings here in Boulder City on a regular basis. There is an unspoken and intense dislike between some residents and city officials, or whoever happens to be on the opposing side of the issue du jour.

During my lifetime I have met several people who never seem to be happy unless they are embroiled in some type of conflict. They can’t find anyone to be agreeable with, so they go to battle — with anyone about anything.

They are like schoolyard bullies, except instead of threatening to take away your lunch money, they threaten to do bodily harm, to get your job taken away or to engage in costly and lengthy legal proceedings. Why? Because they don’t like your opinion; it differs from theirs.

Just in the past few years, several verbal wars have been waged in town. When one issue either is resolved or comes to a stalemate, these people pick another to rally around.

Think about the fate of the old Boulder City Hospital, the plywood covering up several prominent buildings, the proposed Hoover Dam Gateway project, and ethics code and open meeting law violations to name a few.

In essence, a cold war is being waged in town by the continued threats, propaganda and verbal volleys lobbed through social media. Even if the battle is fought by only a few, it has a chilling effect on many.

While there are those on both sides of an issue who make true and valid points, it’s the method of delivering the message that creates problems.

If the leaders of North and South Korea can sit down and rationally discuss working toward a common goal, then the people of Boulder City should be able to as well.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

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