When you run a small town newspaper, it can be easy to forget that there’s a much bigger world out there. And with a bigger world comes bigger problems. I know many a Neverlandian who have lost loved ones in service to our great nation, and many more with friends and family who are deployed overseas still. On this, the last Monday of May, it never ceases to amaze me just how vociferously the citizens of this country rally to honor the memories of our dear-departed soldiers, and to throw their support behind the ones who put their lives on the line day in and day out to keep us safe. It’s days like today that make me proud to be an American. But days like today also make me wish that we collectively devoted more than just a single day out of the year to celebrate the heroes that are the men and women of the U.S. military. I don’t mean this as a slight to you, dearest readers; It would be the pot calling the kettle black to not acknowledge that we stalwart defenders of truth at the Kensington Chronicle fall into this trap, too, on an almost daily basis.
Today at our annual Memorial Day barbeque, I plan to spend at least a few minutes pondering whether or not my first-world problems amount to anything more than a hill of beans in this crazy world, how I can become more informed about the nature of the conflicts that currently litter the world stage, and how the Kensington Chronicle can best express our undying support for the men and women of the Armed Forces on a more regular basis. We at the Kensington Chronicle don’t support war as a matter of course, but we do believe there are things in this world worth fighting for. And as long as that remains the case, it does my heart good to know just how passionately and unflinchingly our servicemen and women fight for our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. For something so fundamental to the safeguarding of democracy, military service is far too often a thankless job.
I am under no illusions that a small town paper like the Kensington Chronicle can do much to sway the hearts and minds of people outside our tight-knit Ohio community, but in the final analysis, I don’t think that we have to. There are papers like this is towns and cities across America, and if we each devote just a small portion of our column inches to this most pressing issue, if we each win over our citizens just a few people at a time, I truly believe we can enact broad-sweeping change. That is the power of local journalism, and today the Kensington Chronicle is redoubling its commitment to wielding that power to remind people of just how much we need the fighting men and women of the U.S. military, and just how much they need us.