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Viewpoint: This city is welcoming

By Dianne Joachim, New Richmond

In the last few weeks, the Hudson Star Observer has featured several articles, letters to the editor and opinion articles regarding the "Great Divide" in Hudson. There were endless conversations about two groups in Hudson that had a difference of opinion. One group (HIA) was accusing the other group (CFSCV) of being a hate group. One group (HIA) has professed that Hudson is non-inclusive and blames the other group (CFSCV) of perpetrating hate in the community.

RELATED: A growing divide: As Hudson discusses inclusion, 'Citizens' flagged as hate group

Last weekend, my husband and I took the opportunity to drive around Hudson to see the growth and changes in the area. My husband, who recently had cataract surgery, commented as to how "clearly" he could see without glasses. We commented on how the community had changed since we first arrived in 1988. As we drove around, I reflected on how the very beauty of the city and community was inviting to tourists, as well as residents residing in Hudson and moving from other communities. The amenities offered outnumber many similarly small communities.

We saw such an economic growth. Roads being built to provide better access to services and industry; a "state of the art" high school and athletic field (although controversial) is amazing.

We observed housing for the elderly and lower income, housing for higher income along the River, a huge complex replacing the dog track, new development off Carmichael. Expansion everywhere.

As we drove along Lakefront Park, we observed people of all ages, sizes, abilities and (apparent) ethnic origin. We saw people playing, laughing, gathering in groups, biking, skating, swimming, walking hand in hand. Interesting enough, not one person was observed arguing or fighting. We saw no evidence of people who had a difference of opinion trying to degrade another for speaking out about their opinion or values.

We reflected on how very fortunate we are to live in a country that was founded on Christian principles (although some disagree); a country that is a Constitutional Republic; a country that STILL allows freedom OF speech and expression; freedom OF religion; freedom OF the press; freedom OF assembly. A country where we have the right to keep and bear arms defend ourselves from those who would bring harm to us or from a tyrannical government. We have the right to vote for our representative leaders. We live in a country where Thomas Jefferson coined the phrase in the Declaration of Independence. "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness...."

Hudson IS a welcoming community within a welcoming country. With that welcome comes responsibility, rule of law and an organizational government that allows us to determine what is best for the preservation of the peace and tranquility.

I ask you, is this the picture of a community that is not welcoming? (We only see degradation of our community and her citizens in the newspaper when people unilaterally target citizens with labels of hate in an attempt to demonize those with whom they disagree.) I can see clearly now! It doesn't take a resolution to "make" Hudson welcoming. It is apparent that some people need to consider cataract surgery of their vision of Hudson so they can see more clearly just how welcoming Hudson really is.

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