Editorial: In face of terrorism, Park City nurtures strong global connections
November 18, 2015
On any given winter weekend, Park City athletes can be found around the globe competing and serving as de facto ambassadors for our community and country. We are on the receiving end, too, as international athletes, coaches and members of the foreign press regularly climb Parley’s Summit to participate in a full schedule of World Cup and other intercontinental events.
In addition to local athletes, our students and other members of the community are also well traveled. Many have served on humanitarian missions in remote villages around the world or have participated in exchange programs with our sister cities in France and China.
Park City may be a small town, but we are all deeply connected to the global community.
So, our hearts were broken when we learned of the atrocities in Paris last Friday. In the aftermath, we have been trying to separate our instinct to seek revenge from our empathy and commitment to social justice.
That conflict is especially apparent in the debate about how to balance America’s record of compassion for the downtrodden with the need to protect its citizens from similar terrorist attacks.
Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert has, so far, resisted the knee-jerk reaction of some who would unilaterally slam the door on Syrian refugees who are, arguably, among the neediest of the recently displaced around the world. In a statement this week he called for a review of the state’s screening procedures but reiterated, "Utahns are well known for our compassion for those who are fleeing the violence in their homeland, and we will work to do all we can to ease their suffering without compromising public safety."
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Some of the rhetoric from the right has reminded us of those first terrifying weeks after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. At that time Park City and Salt Lake City were in the throes of planning for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Some advised cancelling the event.
But the Olympic community vowed to go forward in spite of the threat of further attacks. And when the athletes arrived to share their anthems from around the world, peace prevailed.
Governor Herbert is to be commended for his measured response and as we gear up for a busy season hosting athletes, visitors and employees from around the world we are confident the best way to defeat terrorism is to keep our borders and our hearts open.
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