I, like so many other Americans last week, got the chance to exercise my right and responsibility to vote. What I didn’t expect was the opportunity to be blessed.
I have a 37-mile drive (74 miles round-trip) every day to Park City to the church I serve in Sedgwick County. My favorite means of commuting is on my motorcycle, especially during the fall season.
On Election Day I needed to stop off at my assigned polling place at the Castleton Township Hall. I love voting in Castleton, as it is always a reminder that small communities are some of the most significant places in the world.
On my way to the polls, as I was hoping to get in and out as quickly as possible, I had to pull up to a pretty abrupt complete stop. There was a real, old-fashioned cattle drive. Sitting there for a few unscheduled minutes, I watched and listened as the cowboys whistled, shouted and wrangled their red Angus herd across the road. At the same moment, I also watched as a couple of farm trucks loaded down with freshly harvested milo pulled up to the co-op grain elevator. As I looked up, in the middle of all of that activity, I saw an American flag gently flapping in the cool November breeze.
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In that instant, I was reminded of what Election Day was all about. In that moment, a feeling of purpose and significance came over me like nothing I experienced on any prior Election Day.
I realized, in the hustle of my trying to get my voting done, that I was a part of something far greater than my plans for the day. I understood that my vote actually mattered for the America that I loved, for the state that I knew as home, and that it was going to make all of the difference in the world for places just like this – places on the edge of nowhere, so very far from the things the world considers significant or noteworthy.
ROBERT E. SCHMUTZ