There is a lot to be said for small town life. I’m not talking about the enclaves carved out of a sprawling city that some developer has “restored to its former glory.” I mean those towns sculpted out of the prairie and nestled in the valleys where heritage still has a place in life—those quiet American villages with a ballpark at one end of town and a grand old steeple at the other.
It’s the lifestyle that’s adapted to our modern hustle but that shuts all that out as we drive down the oak-lined lane and finally turn down that old gravel driveway. It’s a way of living that places faith and family above the distractions that pop culture offers. It’s that place where home means so much more than just a house. Small-town America is that stroll past the post office and down by the cemetery where flags still flutter on Memorial Day. It’s a place where family and friends visit the graves of soldiers, sailors and marines fallen in battles that span generations from places oft forgotten. But in the shade of springtime sun, it’s the details forgotten, not the sacrifices made.
Small-town life is that place where respect for those fallen comes from a respect for oneself and from gratitude. First, gratitude for those with the foreign to envision a nation with the greatest of freedoms. Secondly, gratitude for those who answered their nation, only to be buried oceans away. And finally, gratitude for those, spanning the life of this country, who left our small towns and never returned but knew they were doing what had to be done.
Small-town American is that place where we can hold fast to vastly different opinions and still understand the meaning of words like “neighbors” and “civility.” It’s place where wanting the greater good sometimes means not getting our way—and being okay when that is the path. Small-town life ignores the modern call of the selfish “me-first” and, holding the door, humbly says, “After you…”
There’s a lot to be said for small town life. It is from these places that our nation came to be and it is the values bred here that gave life to liberty.
There’s a lot to be said for small-town life.