As Memorial Day approaches here in the U.S., I’ve been thinking about all the people we’ve lost this year. That made me look back at the past.

When I was a little girl, I watched the news with my parents after John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963. I don’t remember much about it except that the whole country mourned. Same thing when his brother, Robert Kennedy was assassinated June 5, 1968.

It wasn’t until I was much older and living in Oklahoma City that I saw first hand the impact of terrorism. The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was bombed less than five miles from where I lived and innocent people were killed, including children in a daycare within the building. The whole country was horrified and mourned. For the people in Oklahoma, we were all in shock. For months afterwards, everyone drove with their headlights on, in silent memory of those lost lives. I believe the rest of the country mourned with us.

On September 11, 2001, I sat at our kitchen table eating breakfast with my daughter before she went out to catch the school bus. Unusual for me, I turned on the news so we could watch a few minutes of news. We were absolutely stunned as we saw the first airplane hit one of the twin towers (in the background behind the reporter who was talking). We cried. My daughter had to go to school that day, but I was glued to the TV as was the rest of the country–and the world.

Then there was the Katrina Hurricane which wasn’t anyone’s fault. It was a disastrous event that killed many people and destroyed many businesses and homes. The whole country again watched as the news media covered the story.

In each event, to my recollection, the people pulled together and mourned together. Now, in 2020, while we are facing the Covid-19 pandemic, why are we so divided? Why can’t we pull together and help each other through this devastating time? Why do have to let partisan politics divide us?

I expect some of you will want to argue with me. This isn’t meant to be a political post. It’s a heartfelt plea for people to help each other instead of fight.