Memorial Day and D-Day

American flag on the barn at Beaverpond Farm.

By Becky Nelson

As we celebrated the lives sacrificed and put in peril for our nation on Memorial Day and the 75 anniversary of D-Day in the last weeks, I couldn’t help but think of all the sacrifice made so that we are free to say what we want, do what we want, travel where we want and live as we want between the shores and the borders of the United States. War, both foreign and domestic, has been an integral thread in the fabric of this nation. No one wants war. No one wants to die or be maimed or have their loved ones die or maimed in war, but fighting for what we know is right and good and honorable calls for sacrifice.

I hope we think of these men and women who sacrificed not just on celebratory days, but frequently so that we can live our fairly insulated and free American lives. Each struggle, each battle, each war in which we found ourselves entangled left a mark and a scar and I am hopeful, a resolve to not let whatever pulled us into the fray happen again. I hope we take these moments of reflection to direct our every day interactions and pull back a bit on the rhetoric, the vehemence, the judgmental tones and antagonistic actions we take with one another and vow to build some bridges and tolerate, be kind and be welcoming to others.

Our nation is locked in a war of words and wills at present, both among ourselves and with others on the international stage, and there is lot of mudslinging and word hurling in our national capitol. The actions and inactions are affecting us all, and I hope we will let our elected officials know where we stand and how we feel about all of it. That is the beauty of this nation that so many sacrificed their lives to protect. To protect the freedom of our friends and brothers, mothers and sisters, spouses and fathers to disagree with one another and work to a working compromise.

The art and gift of compromise is what I see struggling in the halls of our elected officials right now. A fractured America is an ineffective nation, and our inability to work with one another to common ground is hurtful to me and to all who work on the soil of this amazing democratic “experiment.”

It’s good to disagree. It’s good to let each other tell our tales and impart our thoughts. It’s even better to listen to one another, work together to find common ground and strive to make this a better place, both here and across the globe. As I hear both sides of the political diatribes ramp up as we approach next year’s election, I am reminded that it is your and my decision, our choice, our support, our wishes, hopes and dreams that really matter and that whomever we elect to lead the nation is responsible to make an effort to build those bridges with whom he or she doesn’t agree and make this a better place for the people.

I hope that we will remain or become more sensitive to the true needs of the people of our nation and that our leaders will become or remain sensitive as well. Make this a better world for the person persecuted in their homeland. Make this a better and safer world for all to travel. Make this a better and safer world for all struggling to preserve their lives and health while trying to just be. Reach out to our neighbors, both nationally and internationally, to find the solutions, the compromises, the agreements, the treaties and the tolerances to allow us to remain to work, live, breathe and enjoy our lives as Americans and as global brothers and sisters.

A lot rides on our choices, our words and our actions and inactions. Think before you choose, speak and act. Reach out that hand of compromise and truce whenever you can. But when necessary, be strong and be prepared to preserve and protect your freedom. Thank you to all who have gone before me working, fighting and struggling to make America the amazing country it has been and will continue to be.

Becky is co-owner of Beaver Pond Farm in Newport:

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