A couple of the articles on the front page this week remind us of what we can accomplish as Americans when we have the right mindset.
Charlotte Boynton’s article about Bill and Lyn Connell tells of a young Mrs. Connell’s service as a teenage Civil Air Patrol pilot during World War II. The U.S. military did not allow women in combat then, but women like Mrs. Connell did everything else they possibly could to support the war effort.
Jessica Clifford’s article about the 100th anniversary of Maine’s ratification of the 19th Amendment recounts arrests and hunger strikes by the women of the suffrage movement in their crusade for the right to vote.
We tend to look at our problems in America and the world as insurmountable.
What is there to do about war in Yemen or Syria or Afghanistan? Oppression in China or Russia or North Korea? Here at home, how can we find compassionate and practical solutions to issues like immigration, health care, and the national debt?
Do we still have the will to make big, bold changes? To bring about progress in society?
We think about the arrests of suffragists and then consider the protests of today – high school students skipping school with the administration’s blessing.
We look at the photo of Lyn Connell in her pilot’s uniform and think about what some consider brave today – a post on social media about some perceived slight.
And yet it gives us hope for our ability to solve today’s problems to reflect that 100 years ago, much of America was dead set against allowing women to vote.
We have a long way to go, but we have come a long way.
Our thoughts this week go out to Margaret Sproul and Randy Wade, of Sproul’s Farm in Newcastle, after the tragic loss of their animals in a barn fire last Friday.
My son and I were among many visitors to the farm on Maine Maple Sunday this year, when Sproul was giving horse-and-wagon rides back and forth to Sweetwoods Farm next door.
We were the only passengers in the wagon for one of the last rides of the day. We stopped to visit the donkeys at Sproul’s Farm and appreciated the hospitality from Mrs. Sproul, Mr. Wade, and their family.
We wish them the best as they begin the rebuilding process.
– J.W. Oliver