A different Memorial Day
Even in the midst of the pandemic, it is our obligation to remember and honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. This year due to COVID-19, Memorial Day parades and public commemorations have been canceled.
Instead, in accordance with the National Moment of Remembrance Act (PL 106-579), wherever you are, pause for a moment of silence and reflection at 3 p.m. on Monday, May 25.
Please join Rotary District 7780, as well as the Lions Club and numerous business and civic groups in spreading the word and asking friends and neighbors to participate.
And if you are comfortable doing so, on Memorial Day, share your commemoration by posting on social media a sign of gratitude and/or a picture honoring a fallen hero using the hashtag #MemorialDay2020.
Your vote is important
We are all suffering from the COVID-19 epidemic. Three family members and several friends have contracted the virus but, thankfully, none have died. In Piscataquis County, we are grateful to have only one case confirmed by mid-May.
As we start to implement Gov. Janet Mill’s gradual reopening plan, we must stay vigilant against a possible resurgence of the virus this summer or fall. I offer my deep thanks to the doctors and all those who are on the front lines fighting this pandemic, and to my neighbors who continue to respect the social distancing recommendations.
But on the national level? After initially abdicating responsibility and handing it off to the nation’s governors, President Donald Trump is urging resistance to the very governors who are trying to follow the guidance of the CDC. Meanwhile he brags on the Republican lawsuit which, if it succeeds, will end the ACA and could take health insurance away from 20 million Americans during this pandemic which has already killed more than 90,000 Americans.
This is why your vote in the upcoming elections is so important.
On July 14, we will choose candidates for U.S. Senate and U.S. Congress. Democrats have the opportunity to choose among several great candidates to run against Sen. Susan Collins, who I believe has lost her credibility by enabling Trump’s takeover of the once-proud GOP.
There is a safe and secure way to act. Call the Maine Secretary of State election office to ask for an absentee ballot (or, if you have the internet, use your search function for “Maine State absentee ballot”). I urge you to request your mail-in ballot now. Absentee ballots must be returned to your municipal clerk by 8 p.m. on election day, July 14.
Fair treatment for Planned Parenthood
If the BDN chooses to make tangential connections between a local church and “hate groups” as it has in three recent articles by Judy Harrison, a BDN staff writer, it is only fair to have that policy in place when referring to Planned Parenthood.
It is well known that the founder and visionary of the leading abortion provider, Margaret Sanger, was a eugenics proponent. Why not include that and have a staff writer cover a story, say, about Planned Parenthood affiliates applying for and receiving $80 million earmarked for small businesses hit by the virus shutdowns?
Still not at the finish line
We call them heroes, but four months ago, they were all transparent. They were just people going to work. We might give them a nod or some quick conversation, but many of us were too busy to realize their true worth. This virus has opened our eyes.
Our doctors, nurses, EMT people, police and firemen — they were always important. But now they stand like skyscrapers, ready to serve in spite of the terrible risks to themselves.
Then there are those who we never thought of as heroes: our mailmen, garbage collectors and the folks at supermarket checkouts. Imagine if any of these groups of wonderful people ever said, “No, I’m not going to work today, it’s too dangerous.” We’d be in a world of trouble.
Instead, they put risk to themselves aside, and stand ready to help, help even the geniuses who have suddenly become constitutional scholars; who won’t wear masks, or open restaurants illegally, or call together large groups, because they think it’s their constitutional right. Forget the danger to themselves, they are putting at risk those, on the front lines, trying to serve them.
Our governor has done a heck of a job keeping us safe. Every decision she’s made, has been carefully weighed in the best interest of the people of Maine, who she swore to protect. We are a long long way from the finish line.
No cure, little testing and people are still dying, so let’s use our heads for more than a hat rack folks. Let’s try to help each other for the common good.