May 2019

The snow is finally gone, and May marks the beginning of the Spring-Summer seasons. This month we celebrate Memorial Day on May 27th, an important holiday that commemorates the men and women who have given their lives while serving our country in the military. The first Memorial Day was celebrated in 1868 and was meant to honor those that died during the Civil War. I’ve always coupled this holiday with the observance of our country’s birthday on July 4th.  Both are days meant to honor a country built on acceptance, tolerance and cooperation.

My family represents the true spectrum of current political thinking. Some are liberal and some are conservative. I’m sure this is the case with many other families. Our get-togethers are usually peaceful and uneventful, but occasionally, can become exciting when personal/political views are discussed. To date, we have not solved any social, economic or political challenges. However, the fact we can have open and frank discussions about issues is important. Also, the ability to consider alternate points of views is significant.

As we enter this year’s election season, and as the presidential campaign unfolds (two-plus years before that election), it is a great time to practice the art of listening, considering and understanding. This task is challenging at the Federal level, less so at the State level, but can be easily achieved here in our hometown. We are blessed to live in a community with residents of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and aspirations, as well as strong connections to family and friends.  We are also a city that cherishes relationships. This is the framework that fosters open dialogue. That is if we are willing to hear and understand.

With the warmer weather and the beginning of our summer events, it is a great time to reconnect with our neighbors and our community. It is the perfect season to talk and listen.

As we celebrate a country founded on acceptance, tolerance and cooperation, and the men and women who gave their lives protecting these foundations, hopefully, we can all work to practice the art of communication. Like my family, we will never agree on some things, but we can share a meal, enjoy each other’s company and be comfortable knowing our opinions may never align. More importantly, we can accept this as perfectly normal and acceptable.

Please remember our first summer event, the 2019 Rib Burnoff, is Saturday, May 18th and Sunday, May 19th. Also, our Memorial Day Parade will be on Monday, May 27th in Downtown Willoughby, with a second ceremony at our Plains Road Cemetery in north Willoughby shortly thereafter.

Enjoy the Spring!