Our example

Aug 17, 2017 By Steven R. Peck, Publisher

In red-state Fremont County, our summer peace march defies the ugliness back east

This week's angry, vulgar, and altogether unseemly arguing about white supremacists, neo-Nazis, race-based violence, and whether having a permit to assemble somehow helps rationalize driving a car into a crowd of demonstrators has brought our country to a lower point than many citizens thought they would see again in modern times.

We might well have had reason to believe most of that stuff had ended in the 1960s, with some of it seemingly having been outdated before that.

Apparently not.

If the President of the United States ever had it in him to demonstrate unifying leadership, now would be his great opportunity. So far, that ability has been lacking.

Perhaps he could look to Wyoming for an example.

In terms of presidential politics, we are about the "reddest" state there is, with an overwhelming majority of Wyoming voters casting their ballots for Trump last year. Fremont County fell right in line with those percentages.

Just last month, however, our residents also organized an orderly march for the third straight year aimed at unity and peaceful coexistence in the memory of a terrible crime in 2015, when a American Indian citizen at an alcohol treatment center was killed by a white citizen in Riverton, with another tribal member grievously wounded.

Justice came swiftly to the gunman, who is serving a life sentence in prison. And outside the formal court system, Fremont County citizens organized another demonstration of civil justice on their own. Every summer since the shooting, a "peace march" has assembled in Riverton and proceeded along Main Street and Federal Boulevard, with some encouraging words spoken afterward.

It is an inspiring demonstration each year, and we are happy, always, to cover it in the same place in our newspaper that once displayed news of the deadly shooting.

Local leaders say the right things, do the right things, and support the peace march in both presence and sentiment. This is one of the very good things that we do here. It is an organized, public statement against hatred and intolerance.

Given the choice, that is the preferred way to live our lives as human beings.

In Wyoming, we often tout our distance from Washington D.C., both geographically and philosophically. Usually, those expressions have to do with government intrusion, taxation, and wasteful spending. Now we have another reason.

Let us all be thankful, and proud, that in Fremont County, Wyoming, we are remembering our peace march again this summer, not our race riot.

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