Publisher’s Perspective

By Tim Douglass, Publisher of the Pope County Tribune

It seems like only yesterday that this nation experienced the horror of 9/11.

Yet, it happened 21 years ago.  The anniversary of Sep‌tember 1‌1 holds great significance for many Americans. Most of us can tell you exactly where we were that fateful morning — the shock we experienced as we watched what at first seemed to be a terrible accident, and the horror that set in as we realized it was a premeditated attack on America.

In a lot of ways, that terrible event brought the country together in ways we haven’t experienced since.  

The fear and uncertainty ran rapant that day and in the following weeks.  Yet the country rallied around our leaders, our military and our neighbors.  Now, it is fitting that we remember the almost 3,000 people who died during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  

Fast forward to another disastrous emergency that came to America and the world in 2020–the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The uncertainty and the fear were about all the two had in common.  One united the country, the other divided us.  One featured united leadership, the other divided leadership along party and/or state lines.

Granted, one was a military-like attack on our country and one was from an enemy we couldn’t see.  It didn’t take experts to tell us we were under attack after 9/11.  We knew it and we believed it.

During the first months of the pandemic, much of America was united as well, but suddenly partisan politics got in the way and sides were chosen  and we’ve been divided on the subject ever since. Still, it is fitting that we acknowledge that more than 1 million Americans died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that spread across the country and the world in 2020-2021.

Like terrorist groups, domestic and foreign, that still exist and plot to attack the foundation of this country, the coronavirus continues to attack.  Right now, some 400 Americans are dying of COVID-19 each day.

A pandemic isn’t a single act of terror and most of us don’t remember exactly what we were doing when people in our country first started contracting  the virus and some dying from it.  But in many ways it was much worse than a terrorist attack or a war because it pitted neighbor against neighbor rather than bringing us together to collectively fight a common enemy. 

Medical personnel and hospitals were overwhelmed in many areas of the country, while many Americans chose to see it as nothing more than an inconvenience.  

In the end, the country survived and we will likely be better and stronger for it, but we should at least acknowedge that we saw a very dark side of this country and we lost more than 1 million fellow Americans and many more worldwide.  


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My oldest son and his family visited Lake Minnewaska over Labor Day weekend and we enjoyed a couple of beautiful days in this area.

We spent two days doing some fishing on Lake Minnewaska and even had some luck with some nice-sized panfish.  My oldest grandson, Owen, loves fishing and does it any chance he gets.  And he’s a good fisherman, blessed with patience and a knack for catching whatever species his dad or gramps decides to pursue.  He caught a few bass, a nice northern and, of course, the fish we were pursuing, bluegills/sunfish.

His younger brother, Will, doesn’t care that much for fishing but enjoys all the onshore activites staying at the lake provides.  

The weather was just perfect for lake-related activities.   I realize it is kind of a bittersweet holiday,  signaling the end of summer and the beginning of fall, but judging by the crowds in and around Starbuck and Glenwood over the weekend, a lot of people took advantage of the weather and enjoyed the lake, the towns, the restaurants and everything this area has to offer.