The Dec. 15 edition of The Independent News, you featured essays from several people, and you asked readers to respond about what we can do to build inclusive communities amid a time of polarization.
After reading essays from the different people, I would have to say that you certainly saved the best for the last page with state Del. Barry Knight, R-81st District, and Dr. D. Alex Bergren, principal of Princess Anne Middle School. They seemed to have the best solutions for our problems.
I met a young Barry Knight when I came to Virginia Beach way before he was famous. A tornado had torn through my neighborhood. Even though he lived miles away from my neighborhood, he was one of the first to offer his help. I met him again when I took an interest in attending the Virginia Beach Planning Commission briefing and meetings. He was one of the commissioners before he became a member of the Virginia General Assembly.
When Knight went to Richmond, he took the time to come by my home to tell me that he would be my representive. Even though I am no longer in his district, he still keeps in touch and has always kept his promises to help me.
With Knight’s last election, he saw first hand the heated rhetoric and ugliness from the political side of things. I would have to agree that we need to build stronger relationships with our neighbors through PTA, school and church.
And, as Dr. Bergren suggested, we need to bring back family dinner.
I remember when my children were in school and their father was still in the military. His was a seagoing rate, so we tried to have dinner at the same time everyday when he was home. Most times that was impossible, but my children wouldn’t eat until their dad arrived.
You can imagine how awful some of those meals where with no microwave to warm things up or cell phones to track his every move. And when the streetlights came on, our children were in their homes.
In this copy of the paper, you also wrote about student journalists at Virginia Wesleyan University. Knight wrote that he hopes that journalists will print more good news. Hopefully they will do that.
— Linda Russell, Cardinal Estates
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