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KATIE ZERR: Many work together for successful results

If people from many nations can compromise and work together for the good of a small group, why can’t people from one nation work together for the good of the many?
Several times this week we have seen incredible outcomes when many people work together with one common goal.
On the local level, Mobridge area residents, including our neighbors from Glenham and other communities, joined forces to bring our town out of the devastation caused by the July 4 storm. Neighbors helped neighbors clean up debris, agencies coordinated efforts to open streets and help MDU to restore power to homes and businesses. People from across the country worked with each other to help clean up Indian Creek Recreation Area and Bridge City Marina.
There are so many stories circulating about people joining together in the aftermath of the storm to help those in need even though they had company for the holiday or plans for day. These were set aside to aid in the clean up efforts or to help someone who couldn’t take care of the clean up by themselves.
We can attribute this to the Midwest spirit of caring for family, friends and neighbors, but it can also be attributed to the cooperation it took to get the city cleaned up in time for the parade and other festivities.
It is a hope that we, as caring people who put others above ourselves, are not the anomaly.
We have seen examples of what people can do when they work together for the good of the many or how a group of many do the same for the good of one.
These examples far exceed the reports of hate and divisiveness that permeate this country at this time. We just don’t get to hear about how a group of people put their lives on the line to work to save a young mother in a medical crisis or how firefighters, who responded to the home of a man who had a heart attack while working in his yard, return to that home to finish the work while the homeowner recovered.
We do hear about a 92 year old U.S. citizen of Mexican descent who is beat with bricks by a group of individuals and told to go back to his country.
We do hear about the ignorance of one person who berated another for wearing a shirt with Puerto Rico emblazoned across her chest. It is hard to understand how anyone who attended school cannot know that Puerto Rico is part of the United States.
This week the world was mesmerized by the saga of 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped in an underground cave in the mountains of Thailand. The group was in extreme danger because of the configuration of the cave network and the looming heavy rains of the monsoon season.
Thousands flocked to Thailand to work on the rescue from many aspects. There were engineers who worked on a pumping system to get enough water from the caves to allow the rescue of the group. There were trained cave divers and military personnel with years of experience in dangerous diving situations.
Medical experts and those with special skills that would prove invaluable in the complicated operation left their homes and families to get to Thailand. Volunteers came together to feed and care for the rescuers and the teams of specialist who fought with all of their skills to bring this mission to a successful outcome.
From nations across the world, prayers were offered to help these children, no matter what the religious affiliation of those who prayed, those who worked to save the group or the kids themselves.
It did not matter. They were in trouble and any offering of hope mattered.
On Wednesday morning on a national news show, Maj. Charles Hodges, a U.S. mission commander for the 353rd Special Operations unit for the Air Force, described the effort for the successful rescue operation.
“It took every single one of us putting our heads together pushing aside any sort of political or cultural differences and just doing our best to find a solution to this. What I take away from this is how much can be accomplished with teamwork because it was pretty impressive,” he said in an interview.
His explanation of this extraordinary multinational effort to save these children should be printed on billboards across this country. It should be made into plaques and sent to every office of every member of Congress or members of the administration. It should be how we approach smaller problems and those that seem insurmountable.
Then Maj. Hodges ended his interview with another pearl of wisdom that would be a great help to our country’s so called leaders.
“At the end of the day we just have to rely on the training we are given and how we approach problems methodically and logically and try to push away any emotion and look at it from the lens of what we have to do to make this a success.”
We know what it takes to conquer a gargantuan task. We have seen it, lived it and watched it this week alone.
By our own example, we can have success if we push aside the harmful static and work together for the good of the people