Editorial: The first 10 years

Published 5:37 pm Thursday, December 30, 2010

Friday, Dec. 31, 2010

As we embark on a new year and a new decade, we reflect on how the 21st century has begun — with turmoil, with conflict, with advancement, with change.

It was 10 years that changed the way we interact with people, the way we operate our military, the way we spend our money, the way we teach our children, the way we worship.

It showed we are proud to be Americans. It showed we want to change how we treat our planet. It showed we can be humbled by what we have, and by what others don’t have.

There were many faces that will be the symbols of the first decade: George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin. There were pop culture icons and inventions that transformed technology, music, TV and movies: Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Michael Moore, Rush Limbaugh, Jon Stewart, Glenn Beck, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Michael Jackson, Kanye West; iTunes, iPods, iPads, iPhones; Facebook, Google, Twitter.

There were natural disasters: devastating earthquakes in India, Iran, El Salvador, China, Chile, Haiti and an underwater quake that caused the 2004 tsunami in Asia; Hurricane Katrina, from which New Orleans is still recovering; and the H1N1 flu pandemic, which spread worldwide in 2009.

There was 9/11, which changed our country and shook us to our core. There was the subsequent Iraq war, and the ongoing Afghanistan war.

The recession is over, but our 401Ks, bank accounts, real estate market and employment rates are still recovering. Many are still without jobs as we head into 2011.

The year 2010, and the previous nine years, will not go down in the record books as the highest points in American history. But they taught us lessons and paved the way for change, for progress and for examining the way we live. We do not take things for granted as we have in the past, and for that we are a stronger country.

So let’s pop some Champagne for 2011, a year that hopefully brings happiness, comfort, gratitude and strength for all.

Happy New Year from the staff at Leader Publications.