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One nation, emphasis on

One nation, emphasis on One nation, emphasis on

By Ginna Young

This is the last column for me this year, but for the life of me, I just didn’t feel like writing a reflective piece of the year behind us. This year is not something I want to look back on or remember. I just want the clock to turn to midnight on New Year’s Eve and kiss 2020 goodbye.

Yes, I am well aware that a one-minute time difference is not going to magically erase the last year, nor will it miraculously fix everything. Like one of my “kids” and I recently agreed, we just want to move on and feel Jan. 1 can’t come soon enough.

So, once I eliminated a “lookback” type of column, I decided you can’t go wrong with humor. My friend and I have a friendly(?) competition going on, where we compare what’s wrong with our suburbans. Unfortunately for the readers, that will have to keep until another time.

Exactly a week ago from when this column will come out, I was one of the lucky ones to attend the Cornell boys home basketball game against Birchwood. With COVID-19 restrictions in place, only four family members are allowed to attend the game and only then from the home team. So, when I’m able to go and snap some photos for the paper, I feel very fortunate and grateful.

That night, when the warm-up buzzer went off, the announcer read off the list of dos and don’ts, then asked us to stand for the National Anthem. However, something went wrong and no sound came from the system.

Two staff members tried diligently to get the song to play, but to no avail. I think all of us were kind of like, what do we do now? Should we just start the game?

Then all at once, one of the referees started belting out, “O say can you see,” and interrupted the song to yell for us to join in.

There weren’t terribly many of us in the gym – again, COVID – but we let freedom ring. Maybe we didn’t sound like professionals (that ref, though, wow, he could sing!), but it didn’t matter. We all stood with our hands over our hearts and sang to honor our nation, our soldiers, our flag.

When we finished our tribute, the gym rang with applause and cheers. As I wiped the tears from my eyes, I looked around the space and do you know what I saw? Or to be more accurate, do you know what I didn’t see?

I didn’t see one Democrat. I also didn’t see any Republicans. All I saw, were Americans. United in one spirit.

It’s no secret there has been a lot of hatred directed this year, at anyone who believes differently. Why? I still have yet to figure that out.

Everyone believes differently, looks different from everyone else (even identical twins have distinguishing features) and lives their lives differently. I don’t see that is any business of anyone else, as long as no one is put in danger or threatened.

I’ve never been more proud of Cornell, when, on that Thursday night, we joined our “enemies” and were one. If only, I thought as I stood there gazing at the flag hanging in the gym, if only everyone could be here right now to see this.

Would it have changed their hearts? I don’t know. I’d like to think so.

Because, as we proved when that referee jumped in to do what was right, we are ONE nation. And that is definitely something to hold onto, especially after a year like this one.