Commissioners Corner: Douglas County has a lot of be thankful for as we look toward 2002 |

Commissioners Corner: Douglas County has a lot of be thankful for as we look toward 2002

by Bernie Curtis

It’s been quite a year as we look toward the Christmas holiday and the New Year beyond. A year like no other in American history, marked by the atrocity of the terrorist’s events of Sept. 11.

America learned a lot about itself during the days since that horrific event. What America has learned has been long known and practiced in Douglas County and in much of Nevada. It is our spirit of taking care of our community; taking the time to know your neighbors and to care for them in their times of need. It is expecting and knowing that they will help you in your time of need also. It is selflessness, self-sufficiency, a spirit of self-sacrifice if needed, and a “can do” attitude.

We do it with people treating each other decently and with respect. We do it with volunteerism and a spirit of curiosity about our community, events, and our neighbors. It is a “big brother’ and “big sister” protectiveness not found in many urban areas. It is because of adversity faced in years past with severe weather, floods, fires, earthquakes, and other natural and man-made disasters. It is because Nevadans have faced these situations in isolation, sometimes cut off from the world beyond.

People that live in our community care absolutely about the safety and peacefulness of this community and they will fight fiercely to protect it. Our citizens volunteer to help in many ways. They are volunteer firemen, search and rescue, and reserve deputies. They work as volunteers in the library, in the schools, in the food bank, in the Family Support Council, in the government and in the private sector. They volunteer their efforts in the service clubs, helping to raise funds for worthy causes and helping to put on wonderful community events. Service to community is an honored endeavor here.

This is a close-knit community. We celebrate that. Sometimes we resent it, too; but this is a community whose common protective spirit is envied by many and should be copied by all.

The America that we see after Sept. 11 is one that is working its way toward the lifestyle that has endured for many years here. Volunteers are suddenly being acknowledged. Emergency service workers are suddenly being called heroes. Our men and women in the military are respected and praised for their willingness to put it all on the line, in service to America. These are our now heroes.

Patriotism is on the upswing with the red, white and blue displayed proudly. People are saying and really thinking about the meaning of the words to the Star Spangled Banner and the Pledge of Allegiance. Political correctness may just about be dead. It is a time for straight talk and strong morals. It is a good time in history to stand tall and be proud of America and to be patriotic.

Movie and television industry figures and some professional sports figures are not being worshipped as heroes and role models. America now has a new set of heroes. They are our volunteers, our emergency service workers and our men and women in the military. This is as it should be!

The point is this. It is time to think about how much is right about our community and ourselves. Douglas County has much to be thankful for this year. The rest of the country is coming around to adopting the lifestyle that has been here for a long time.

It is the time to give thanks, to look at all of the good things around you and to be happy to live in such a wonderful community. It is also a time to be vigilant and protective about this community, our state, and our country. It is time to respect and protect the rights of our neighbors and to demand respect for your rights also. And if you haven’t already, it is a time to get to know your neighbors better too. After all, they may be the ones that save you from harm’s way.

Have a wonderful and joyous Christmas and a Happy New Year 2002. God Bless America!

n Bernie Curtis represents Douglas County commission district 3.