Editorial: Eclipse brought people together

Published 8:22 pm Thursday, August 24, 2017

Monday was a total eclipse of the nation’s heart, literally. Americans from all over the country gathered in their backyards, on their roofs, at parks and traveled across states to be able to view the moon crossing over the sun. During the eclipse, families performed science experiments, projecting the crescent sun on sheets of paper with binoculars and making pinhole projection boxes as an alternative to viewing the eclipse instead of eclipse glasses. For 2 1/2 minutes, some locations in the path of totality were dark as night as onlookers hooted and hollered. Various news sites streamed this natural phenomenon live, allowing the rest of the nation to join in on the excitement.

It’s occurrences like these that allow us to come together as a community while also forgetting about everything else. The eclipse allowed us, for just a few hours in a day, to obsess over something bigger than ourselves that didn’t involve politics, work, personal stresses or concerns about what is happening in the world we live in. For a couple hours we were able to stand together, put on some funny looking glasses and be still, watching our moon increasingly carve out the sun. Social media blew up with images of the eclipse, of smiling faces, family get-togethers, road trips to an eclipse viewing destination and memes covering various punny eclipse references. It was a great day.

It’s days like these, when something as complex and awe worthy, yet simple, can bring a whole nation together in positivity and excitement. It’s days like these that we need to remember when our nation is divided by polarizing views, violence or fear. As a human race, we have a great potential for love and for hate. We search for unity and companionship while also pushing away with division and “us vs. them” mentalities. Let this solar eclipse be a reminder that sometimes, we need to stop what we are doing, forget what makes us different and come together on a common interest, cause or event that connects us all as a nation. Let’s not wait until the next eclipse in 2024 to unite in positivity and peace. Remember to be kind to one another and know when it is time to take a pause.