This week our nation honors Veterans Day -- a time to honor all who have served in the military. Men and women alike, people of all races, religions, and genders have sacrificed much to preserve our democracy and the human rights of others around the world. Thank you, veterans!

Next week we celebrate American Education Week.

Our current nation’s pulse is related to politics as well as our individual role in helping our community and country move forward in the days ahead.

It is clear that we live in a nation that is divided. Thoughts of mistrust are planted and cultivated, resulting in the reaping of negativity and finger-pointing. Rude, disrespectful, arrogance in opinions have put a chokehold on “the Golden Rule.” Our veterans served with dignity to preserve in part, the dignity for all Americans. Today, our kids are watching and listening to how we preserve that dignity in our own small part of the world in which we live.

People speak over others rather than listen to them. We witness arguing, yelling, taunting, and disrespect as some proclaim to know more, be more, and have all the right answers.

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Too often the good of individuals is valued over the good of all. Some seem to have that “it’s all about me” attitude. Our kids are watching ... .

Thankfully we have schools, teachers, coaches, mentors, support staff, bus drivers, counselors, and all of our public education experiences that teach young people ways to listen, discuss, learn, and debate in a civil and respectful manner. Thankfully, our veterans created a republic in which we stand.

Next week we celebrate American Education week and thankfully, our students are blessed to be attending a school district that lives, eats, and breathes character education. They are surrounded in our schools by loving, caring, patient people who teach honesty, cooperation, citizenship, responsibility, and compassion.

Resulting from our recent presidential election, our nation will face extremely difficult days, exacerbated by the pandemic, racial division, a roller coaster of job security and economic instability.

Like veterans, as stewards of humanity, and as examples to our children, it is our responsibility as educators and citizens to not only refrain from contributing to the mayhem, fear, and division but instead, to find creative, meaningful, life-giving ways to overcome everything that stands in the way of what is good, and teach the same to our children.

How do we do this? Love one another, be unselfish, continue serving others, have faith and teach hope, teach patience, show honor and dignity -- just as our veterans and educators.

Our kids are watching and learning — our kids are looking up to you — show them how respectful people talk, respond, mentor, and behave. Preserve our nation’s dignity and honor.

Moving forward, beyond today, like our veterans, may we all continue to be a role model for our students and teach them how to be builders with their passion — rather than pessimistic destroyers.

It is coincidental that this month we recognize bothveterans and educators. Yet, it is not coincidence that both have built on each other’s belief in preserving our democratic republic through personal values, perseverance, education, and the best interest for all of mankind today, and for future generations to come. May we all do our part to do the same.

Respectfully and with appreciation to our veterans and their families.

Respectfully and with appreciation to our educators.