EDITORIAL: This wall promotes healing

York Dispatch
Volunteers work to piece together the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall, known as "The Wall that Heals," in York City, Wednesday, May 4, 2016. The wall will be on display at the York Fairgrounds May 5-8. Dawn J. Sagert  photo

Thumbs up: To volunteers who brought The Wall that Heals to York for the weekend so residents could pay their respects to those who died in the Vietnam War. The exhibit at the York Expo Center included a museum with photographs, memorabilia and letters left at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Nearly 60,000 members of the U.S. armed services gave their lives in Vietnam, and among them were more than 3,000 Pennsylvanians.
The Wall that Heals is a half-scale replica of the memorial in D.C.

Wall that Heals erected in York

Thumbs up, as well, to volunteers participating in the traveling exhibit.

For many, such as York City resident Chris Young, it’s personal.

Young was in the Navy for 21 years, serving from the Vietnam era to the Gulf War. He personally knew one of the men behind the names on the wall – U.S. Marine Larry Porter, who was killed when he was 19 years old. The men went to the same high school in Ohio.

Thanks to those who served, sacrificed and now help keep history in the forefront so we never forget.

Thumbs up: To those involved in Economic Development Week, which began Sunday and lasts through this week.

York may have its business challenges, like many counties and cities across the U.S., when it comes to the disruption of the manufacturing industry and its evolution due to rapidly changing technological advances.

OPED: What is economic development

But many economic development advocates in York have been unfailingly optimistic about how to embrace a changing business environment to help the region attract, grow and sustain businesses of all types. A more varied region provides more varied opportunities.

Chief among those economic development advocates is the York County Economic Alliance. It’s at the forefront of a challenging time of change. Through its unyielding work to build a vibrant county and business climate, it has kept the benefits of doing business here front and center.

The Alliance is working hard so Yorkers can too.

Thumbs up: To a manufacturing upstart who wants to create toys to inspire boys of color.

Jennifer Pierre is working on a master’s degree in entrepreneurship at Babson College in Massachusetts. Her new line of dolls is designed for boys of color.

The first prototype is an 18-inch doll named Jayden, which is designed to look like a young black boy. The dolls for boys will be marketed as “action pals,” as opposed to “dolls,” to help “erode the idea that dolls are for girls” and at the same time move away from the action figure that is muscular and uses weapons.

Toys to inspire boys of color

There are a couple of things that are really great about Pierre’s vision. First, by upending the gender assignments, we can help our children to discard narrow labels that are often difficult for them to associate with because of the individual and varied nature of human beings. And by promoting all races, children of color can begin to know that they, too, deserve toys they can relate to.

By broadening the scope of what is “normal,” we stop marginalizing large swaths of small humans. And that’s a much healthier way to coexist and to help all children grow into more tolerant adults.

Additionally, by investing in this as a business, if it succeeds — and we're rooting for it — Pierre will encourage the market forces to be more inclusive. When it's profitable, perhaps even corporations will see value in becoming more diverse in their product offerings.

More inclusiveness, more market share. Win-win.