EDITORIAL: Heal the divide, thank a veteran

The York Dispatch
  • Let's put aside our differences today and join in a salute to America's veterans.

One way to heal after Tuesday’s divisive election is for Americans to find some common ground — any common ground, at this point.

Major Harold Borror, 87, holds a medal naming him an "Ambassador for Peace", presented to him by the Republic of Korea, at the Salvation Army in York City, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. Dawn J. Sagert photo

And on this day, Veterans Day, if the two sides can’t agree to thank the men and women who have served our country, then our problems are much worse than we thought.

Who could possibly take issue with expressing appreciation for people like Harold Borror, an 87-year-old resident who fought in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War?

Near the end of 1950, some 30,000 United Nations troops were surrounded by about 120,000 Chinese soldiers, sparking a month-long running battle during which the UN forces withdrew to South Korea, evacuating 100,000 North Korean refugees along with them.

A Korean War vet's lifetime of service

Borror’s medic unit was ambushed during the fighting, and, though wounded, he led a group of seven survivors through a forest until they were rescued by a UN tank division.

“I had a difficult time when I got home,” he recalled for an article in today’s York Dispatch, but he eventually found a calling and a career with The Salvation Army.

Borror, who spent 60 years working and volunteering with the charitable organization after his military service, is more than worthy of our gratitude.

As is Rob Bessemer, an Army veteran from Springettsbury Township who served in Kosovo and did two tours of duty in Iraq.

His fiancée, Ashley DeMarzo, gave birth in May to their daughter, Brinley, who arrived 11 weeks early. The couple hadn’t done the work in their finished basement to complete her bedroom, and couldn’t take on the job during the four weeks the baby spent in a neonatal intensive care unit.

YTI helps local veteran

Enter York Technical Institute instructor Allen Stonebreaker, whose electrical technology students volunteered to do the electrical work in the basement for free.

"When I told them about this they all jumped right in and wanted to help," Stonebreaker said. "(Veterans) gave a lot to protect our country; it's nice that we can give back to them."

Many York County businesses also are giving back to veterans like Bessemer and Borror today, from IHOP’s offer of free pancake breakfasts to all retired and active duty service men and women, to Royer’s Flowers' free bouquets to the same.

York County businesses giving back to veterans

“No one is more deserving of a national day of honor than the men and women who have served and sacrificed to protect our freedom,” said Greg Royer, president and CEO of the company. “It’s our privilege to offer this gesture of thanks on Veterans Day.”

Another nice gesture? The rest of us putting aside our differences, if only for today, and join in a salute to these fine Americans on Veterans Day.