In a recent meeting with Vice President-elect Mike Pence, he concluded his remarks to us by saying, “Buckle up.” Beginning in January, we will have a new President and Congress. The next hundred days will be intense. The next hundred days will create possibilities.
Last night, far away from the ornate halls of Congress, and a healthy distance from all of the nation’s post-election debate, I attended the dance and cheer performance at Northeast High School in Lincoln. A number of local schools participated. The Northeast Star Strutters were the first team to go. They were impressive!
If I had to choose two words to describe the prevailing mood in Washington, they would be curiosity and urgency. Curiosity as to how this moment translates—and urgency, not to waste it.
I often pass through Chicago’s airport on my way from Nebraska to Washington. Along one of the terminals hangs a picture of a striking young man in an aviator jacket. The crowds rush by without much notice. A little while back I paused to read about the man’s life.
Blair is a small Nebraska town right north of Omaha, nestled among beautiful and wooded rolling hills along the Missouri River. It is a traditional hub of agricultural activity, several large manufacturing plants, and a very stable community of strong values.
This week I visited a 125-year-old bank in North Bend, Nebraska. Now in its fourth generation, the family owned bank recently discovered an architectural gem above the ceiling. Some diligent excavation work on the older, original side revealed hidden stained glass ceiling panels and gorgeous ornamentation on various beams. The bank is rightfully proud to showcase its history.
In the summer of 2014, the church bells of Mosul, the second largest city of Iraq, fell silent for the first time in nearly two millennia. Long a heartland of Christianity in the region, Mosul had been conquered by ISIS in a brutal assault. The Christians of the city were given a choice: leave, convert, or die by the sword. Most fled with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
After watching the second presidential debate, I flipped the channel. There it was, Green Bay playing the New York Giants. I breathed a sigh of relief. That’s the America I know. Good solid competition, an orderly event, just a bit of comfort food, something normal in the midst of all this drama.
So many of us feel trapped by the ever escalating costs and fewer choices in health care these days. Health care premiums are substantially stretching family budgets and are hitting small businesses particularly hard. The unpredictability of premium increases also hinders reasonable financial planning.
For years the community of Wahoo and the surrounding towns in Saunders County have been working steadily and sacrificially to build a new veterans memorial. The people of this area live far away from the nation's power centers, thriving in the heart of the Great Plains. But when they are called to serve, they answer.