Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: A better reply to a worried nation

For those of you who similarly craved a drastically different response to NBC reporter Peter Alexander’s question, “Mr. President, what do you say to scared Americans?” during Friday’s Press Conference, I offer this:
Dear Americans,
Today much of our world may feel ominous and gray, darkened by the shadow of an invisible enemy. This nemesis has changed our lives — separating loved ones from each other, stealing our livelihoods, shutting down centers of community, culture and celebration. In the span of mere weeks life as we know it has been turned upside down. And for too many the lives of those whom we love have been tragically lost or lie in peril. A sense of uncertainty prevails.
It is both natural and understandable that Americans are scared. How we respond to that fear will define who we are as a people. America’s finest days rose from her darkest hours. Her greatest steps forward as a nation emerged from temporary states of paralysis.
Covid-19, this unseen enemy that we face, challenges us to rise above our fears; to look beyond ourselves and address the broader needs of our country. This crisis demands a unified strength and vision; a moment that must compel us to act in ways that prioritize the common good over individual desire.
We must take lessons from the doctors, nurses and health/emergency personnel fighting in this battle’s front lines. It is imperative that we heed your cautions and follow your directives. Our nation thanks you. Your dedication to human life exemplifies America at her most courageous. You are patriotism distilled.
And, for those among the range of support personnel — be it production line workers, the grocery industry’s employees, or those operating day in and day out to preserve our essential functions — know that you also share this nation’s deepest gratitude. Thank you for your heroic, tireless service.
This is our moment for all Americans to ask, ‘What can we do for our nation?” Together, we must respond by rising above the helplessness now felt by many. From within our shared fear, we must choose courage. From within our shared doubt, we must choose action. We have the power to use our individual fears to forge a collective strength; a strength derived from the very best in each of us.
Dear Americans, United we will stand. United we will triumph. We are one nation. Indivisible.
Deb Levesque
South Burlington

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