Yesterday, I couldn’t help but shed a tear or two as a small, private ceremony was held at the Southern Nevada State Veterans Home to thank veterans for their service.
Unlike past years, this year’s tribute was smaller due to COVID-19. Protecting the health of veterans, who willingly gave so much to our nation, was of utmost importance. But small doesn’t mean it was any less meaningful or impactful.
Those assembled celebrated veterans’ service and thanked them for their efforts. A proclamation was issued and read by the mayor and representatives from the city’s police, fire and animal control departments paraded by in an assortment of vehicles and on horseback.
They took every precaution possible to make sure there was no chance of spreading the virus among the veterans’ home’s elderly residents. They even worked with an infection control specialist to make sure they could show their support without endangering anyone’s health.
The change in celebration itself didn’t alter anyone’s enthusiasm. You couldn’t help but be stirred by the patriotism on display.
It was the highlight of an emotional week, during which Americans’ feelings were fully on display as they cast their ballots, rooted for their preferred candidates and watched results of the Nov. 3 election trickle in.
For some, the results of the presidential election caused rejoicing and dancing in the streets. For others, there was anger, sadness and/or extreme disappointment.
Regardless of whether or not your candidate won, you had the opportunity to cast your vote.
This, and many other freedoms we enjoy as Americans, is because men and women of the Armed Forces fought for our rights to do so, defending our nation against threats to our republic. They fought for our nation as a whole. They didn’t distinguish between red states, blue states or any colored state. They didn’t stop to consider whether or not their brothers and sisters in arms were Democrats, Independents, Libertarians or Republicans.
As such, they deserve our thanks and our appreciation.
The next few months as we transition from one president to another will be fraught with more emotions and possibly even battles weaving their way through our legal system.
I’ve seen way too much hate and mean-spiritedness in our nation, and especially on social media where those with different political viewpoints have banned or unfriended people because of their beliefs.
Hopefully, like those who gathered at Wednesday’s Veterans Day ceremony, we can put aside differences and work toward a common goal, creating a unified nation that puts America and Americans first.
Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.