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September 23, 2018  |  

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We Needed This

Published Nov. 23, 2016

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In the aftermath of this divisive election, many of us yearn to reaffirm our commitment to the values of respect, kindness, and acceptance. When a local sign reading “Dear Muslims, Immigrants, Women, Disabled, LGBTQ & All People of Color, We love you boldly and proudly” was defaced, a Chester couple invited others to their home to discuss how to stem the prevalent animosity of the current climate and instead promote positive values and attitudes.

The group named itself The Valley Stands Up. It is not political and not religious. It welcomes all, as we hope our region and nation does also. The group’s goal is to help us work together toward a kinder and more respectful future. The first action was to organize a peaceful gathering of people wishing to show their support. With only one day’s notice, more than 350 people gathered in downtown Chester on Nov. 13 and made the two-mile march to downtown Deep River, carrying signs expressing positive values and hopes.

Thanks go to all for the joyful reassurance of this experience. We needed this. Let us continue by joining together to make respect and harmony the first and most urgent goal for our future.

Jan Taigen
Chester

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