Letter: Special day in Carbondale
It may not have been a typical day on Main Street Carbondale, but three unrelated events which took place this afternoon (May 3) made me especially proud to be living in this small western community.
I had taken the short drive from my home to downtown for the 5:30 movie and found Main Street crowded by hundreds of festive people wearing clothes of many bright colors. It was the Gay Pride parade, very well-attended by people of all ages, although mostly youths and families.
Street barriers go up the First Friday of each month enabling people with strollers and dogs, and kids on skateboards, to enjoy the shopping, food, music and laughter without traffic concerns. You could see real pride in the marchers, both for their beliefs and for the community’s support.
When it was time for the movie I reluctantly left the street and entered the Crystal Theater, a local institution in itself. The documentary film (“Whitewashed”) described the country’s efforts to destroy Native American cultures by forcibly separating children as young as 5 from their families and sending them to boarding schools, where they were denied their native languages, songs, dance, appearance and history. Powerfully, the film’s clearly stated objective was not to induce guilt, but rather to tell the painful truth, so long hidden.
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I’m writing this letter because today I participated in the America that I most love, and I was touched by the experience. I feel deeply that the significance of these three events happening together should not be overlooked as just another day, but a special one.
People sometimes say that they want to read happy news in place of what has been done to whom, but that just doesn’t sell. Well, today I was privileged to be a part of the other, and it made me happy.
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