As of Tuesday, December 26, 2017
CLEARWATER VALLEY One of last year’s buzz phrases was “make America great again.” It makes me sad, that people don’t think this is a great country. I have always thought America is great. Maybe I come from a different perspective as a first generation American. My mother’s parents chose this country, or more accurately people in this country chose them. An Ohio farm family, through a Lutheran church program, sponsored my grandparents and my Mom to come to the United States after World War II. My grandfather was chosen because of his good deeds helping fellow refugees at a camp in Germany.
I have visited 49 of our 50 states and the kindness of strangers never ceases to amaze me. When I was trying to find the right subway line in Washington D.C., check out my dad’s family’s historical home in Warren, Penn., locate a cemetery in rural Kansas, or get unlost in San Francisco, people willingly helped. I believe this is a country filled with people trying their best to get along.
To me part of what makes America great are the little things people do to support each other. In the Clearwater Valley, the Kooskia vs. Kamiah girls and boys basketball games known as the Upriver rampage raised $9,000 for area foodbanks just before Christmas. Last summer when Kamiah faced a huge windstorm, people with chain saws cleared fallen trees and limbs for their neighbors. There are many instances of people holding fund-raisers to pay other people’s medical costs. People and businesses sponsor and attend youth sports events and buy kid’s 4 H animals at the fair. Our volunteer EMT’s and firefighters donate their time to save our property and our lives. It all helps to make our communities stronger.
If you’re one of the people who doesn’t think America is great, I challenge you to ask yourself in the new year, what are you doing to make it better? “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” (John F. Kennedy)