Letter: Forever grateful | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Forever grateful

On Thursday evening, there was a candlelight vigil for the residents of Basalt who live in the Pan and Fork trailer park. My husband and I attended as allies of those folks, mostly Latino, who are about to lose their homes to development and may have to leave their community, friends, school and the home they've lived in for many years.

As I listened to their stories, I realized how grateful I was that my Anglo daughter, now 23 years old, grew up in Basalt with these wonderful people. From her first day of grade school through middle school, she was in bilingual classes. Some of her best friends were from Mexico, Argentina and El Salvador. From her friends and their families, she learned a new culture and a new language. But most importantly, she learned compassion and caring. She understood, from a young age, how privileged she was to be a citizen of the U.S. and to know the language. She learned patience with those who could not speak English fluently, and in turn they taught her, with great patience, the Spanish language. Without the diversity that the Basalt community offered, my daughter would not have the knowledge of another culture, the opportunity to learn and speak Spanish fluently and the lifelong friends she made.

At a time when we all are preparing for the holidays, it's important to think about the things we are thankful for. I am forever grateful for our caring community and all those who make this valley so unique and special. I would hope that with all the wonderful resources and caring people and philanthropic organizations in this valley, the town of Basalt could find partnerships and solutions that would meet the needs of the town and the Pan and Fork families. The residents of Basalt have the opportunity to really shine in the eyes of our state and even our nation by stepping up and helping the Pan and Fork trailer-park community to continue living, working, learning and enjoying the home they know and love.

Michele Diamond

Glenwood Springs