My Turn, Marjorie Ritchie: My corner of America

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 5, 2022

As we pause as a nation to celebrate the 246th birthday of America this week, I am thankful to be living in a corner of America that best reflects the good and decent side of our country. Angry protesters may be gathering to wave their signs and flags on the courthouse steps and public squares around the country, but most folks where I live are going about the quiet business of their day. My neighbor who operates a farm nearby has already been up for hours threshing the wheat and baling the straw in his field. The corn and soybeans need rain, but the Tuesday morning prayer warriors at the village church have faithfully sent these requests heavenward. Despite the unimaginable price of diesel fuel, the semi-trucks are still hauling their loads from the quarry up and down Highway 52. Inflation continues to rise, but the coffee and breakfast at a local diner in Richfield is still an affordable meal. After returning home from his first job, my hardworking neighbor cheerfully agrees to mow homeowner’s yards despite any political differences they may have.


The work of Americans in my corner of North Carolina still continues on despite the loud, angry vitriol of Americans who must have nothing better to do except protest, loot, burn, and disparage America. Don’t misunderstand. My neighbors are angry; they are righteously angry about the political, economic, and moral “undoing” of our nation by a “select few.” The difference between my neighbors and those loud protesters is that my neighbors are “doers” not “talkers.” America will collapse if the quiet, hard-working, law-abiding citizen stops working, praying, sacrificing, and believing in this nation, its founding principles, and its commitment to our future generations. As a nation, we will never be able to correct all of the ills and wrongdoings of our past. Educators can rewrite history books; cities can dismantle statues; but the truth of our history, whether bad or good, will never be changed. I believe in the best of our nation because I see the best and hear the best when I speak with my neighbors, who may be liberal or conservative, black or white, Democrat or Republican. I see the best of America in my hardworking neighbors who farm and produce our food, the truck drivers who haul their goods, the teacher who patiently works with her students, the helpful grocery store manager who offers to take my groceries to the car, and the neighbor who arrives with a casserole at my front door when I am sick. There is more that is good and right with America than what is evil and wrong with our country. If you want to understand what is good and right about America, then watch and listen to your quiet, humble neighbor who continues to work hard, who perseveres through these tough times, and who accomplishes the best for his family, his neighbors, and his country. If you want to see what is good and right about America, thank that disabled veteran who selflessly served our country. Finally, in my corner of America, I will continue to give thanks for the “doers,” for my neighbors and friends who truly love America. Their actions speak more significantly than other’s loud words.


Marjorie Ritchie lives in Gold Hill.