Dear Editor:

In the midst of the worst health care crisis of our lifetime, Paterson, the state of New Jersey and America finds itself in unprecedented circumstances.

Throughout our history, we have always risen to the occasion. When a territory of the United States was attacked during Pearl Harbor our citizens summoned the courage to fight back against a foreign enemy. When a young President was taken from us in Dallas, the nation rallied to a new president. And when our nation was blindsided on September 11th, Americans comforted one another and displayed patriotism in the likes we had never seen in our lifetime.

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The trumpet calls out again to come together in this hour of need. To comfort those who are hurting. To offer a word of encouragement to those who are unsure about the future and prayers for those who have lost a loved one.

Yes, we are hurting right now. The future is uncertain and the present is unsettling. However, we are Patersonians. We are from the great state of New Jersey. And we are Americans. We have a long history of being underestimated.

Former President George W. Bush put it best when he said, "In the final analysis we are not partisan combatants. We're human beings equally vulnerable and equally wonderful in the sight of God. We rise or fall together. And we're determined to rise.”

“Failure is not an option.”

Sincerely,

Wayne Witherspoon

Wayne Witherspoon is a Commissioner on the Paterson Planning Board