At this time of deep partisan division in our country, I was heartened to read the essays about patriotism by Zeke Wilcox and Athena Smith, winners of the District 8 VFW’s Patriots Pen contest. The eighth graders both emphasized the importance of finding common ground with those with whom we disagree.

“When my peers are debating current topics, I try to see all points of view,” wrote Wilcox. “We are one nation that must come together to protect the ideas and freedoms that our forefathers worked so hard for. We can’t let our differences divide us.”

“Patriotism brings people together,” agreed Smith. “It is a sense of solidarity and love for your country, a shared feeling and common goal.”

Despite recent efforts by some to portray one party as the home of true patriots, the real world provides many examples of how it takes cooperation across party lines to create policies that are good for America.

Outgoing state rep Jim Wilson, a Republican, credits Democrats with providing the key support needed to pass his long-sought legislation to fund full-day kindergarten in Colorado. President Trump relied on Democrats in Congress to ratify a new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada that improves labor and environmental standards. And a huge majority of Republicans and Democrats in Congress voted last fall to denounce Q-Anon and its “unfounded” and “false” conspiracy theories.

As Zeke Wilcox wrote, “We are a group of people who work together to make decisions for the best of our nation.”

Jim Hight

Buena Vista

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