On Point's Year In Radio Diaries


Support for on point and the following message. Come from kyko do you own or rent your home. Fortunately geico makes it easy to bundle your home and car insurance. It's a good thing too. Because having a home is hard work go to geico dot com. Get a quote and see how much you could save. Hi it's meghna chakrabarti host of on point before we start the show who let us take a quick breath shall we. Because what a year. This has been every day. Every issue brought more questions. How did we get here. Why is this happening. What does it mean. And how do we fix it. I'm really grateful that you've been with us throughout this year. Listening along as we try to find answers to some of those questions. Because that's what we're trying to do it on point and you know that figure out how to understand to survive and to thrive in the world we all share. So here's my pitch to you. I use the word we allot and by we. I mean you. Because we can't do this with how you and i'm going to borrow heavily from public radio legend ira glass because he always says that. Public radio is the most idealistic of any news media. We put stuff out there hoping that if you think it's valuable you'll support it. It's a business model based on idealism and based on trust you trust us to bring you journalism that enriches your life. We trust you to help. Keep that going. So yes. This is a fundraising pitch. But don't don't don't jump forward in the podcast just yet to tap that fifteen. Second forward button because this is important. I am asking you to support your local public radio station that's right not some big faceless network but support your local journalists who live right there in your community who are reporting on the stories that are happening in your state houses in your schools and in your state from now until december thirty first. npr's fundraising campaign is four local stations. So do your part if you can and donate at npr dot org slash on point. Go there to get started and thanks. Well here. we are the start of two thousand twenty one over the past year. Many americans shared their lives with us. They were vulnerable and brave. About what twenty twenty had brought though so today we want to listen back to some of the stories. We loved best. The voices that lingered with us the longest. Let's start in april twenty. Twenty new york city was then the american epicenter of the kobe. Pandemic public- aeros is the owner of. Forget me not what had been a popular bar in. New york's lower east side when the pandemic hit he couldn't serve customers anymore but he found another way to keep his business going. Forget me not getting reports. I just give me one second. You just helping customers. That's that's available right now Forgive me that like You know a local dive bar with Really good food supposed to locals. You know we've opened up by june eighth two thousand and twelve. I think about four months prior to hurricane sandy and that was a slap in the face right off the bat. So we've made it through that a couple of blackouts and now this. I mean this is. This is epic proportions. But it is what it is but he into Party derek derek. Having think it was a whisky so thinking what to do and turns around and says to me. Why don't we just do a grocery store. Plus my brother owns big supermarket in the story. Queens i grew up So i figured you know. I have the supply chain anyway. One of those is do you know so when it christie. They got a bunch of plywood. Subverting the lumber just the shelves and there was it there's definitely trader joe's and the whole foods within ten fifteen minutes from me but then this huge lines and some people. Just don't want to wait. Come get their stuff. But obviously i can't compete with the big chains. You know what i mean. We do our best. But also we have full liquor. They don't we send a lot of gin and tonics to go. Bloody marys margaritas whiskies. You know some. you can't get into big store. You see the same faces you know same conversations you know you check on people to check on you you know back and forth. You know you choose to help people you help yourself you choose to keep saying you know you choose to keep other people saying and i think the mental health things that'll be shoot after this at least i have the. Tv's we'll play some soccer games. You know 'cause there's most sports either so that drives people saying that's gonna be huge man. Listen people. this supported us through the years like this crazy creases support. So we take we give back as much as we can. All we have left each other too. Yeah there was a big that was pablo sierras owner of. Forget me not a bar turn. Small grocery store in new york city's lower east side. We recently checked back in. Pablo was in greece but we spoke with his wife abby zeros and she says they've reinvented themselves again. This cute little general store that sewing creative things that you know. Multiple people from their neighborhood of made and brought to me scarves and candles pillows and clothing and hats and fun stuff. We're just looking at this as an opportunity and not as something sad. The twenty twenty s. ben. You see you see a crack in the door and you push the door abandoned. Something better on the other side abbey. Also says they're looking forward to reopening the bar in the spring will not. Everyone has been able to pivot as easily in october. We spoke with the tricia seco- before the pandemic she worked as a contractor doing data entry and her boyfriend working two jobs to make ends meet. But when the pandemic hit those jobs vanished i was able to receive unemployment benefits even with the Extra six hundred dollars davey lists and i was thankful because i was able to bank some of that money because little did i know it was gonna cost me six hundred and four dollars a week in the most handle My landlord decided that he wasn't going to renew our lease because he's the house the only notice he gave Was that he wasn't renewing our lease so that was sixty days of sixty days was no time in a pandemic defined a house because people weren't moving and that's how we end up being homeless. Oh it was crazy when benefits went away because that man that we probably wouldn't have food or anything like that because we would have to use all of your income. Just keep a roof over our head. I mean in the motel things were because it seemed like everybody needs to hire or work at home positions or removed. This and because i didn't have the capacity to work motels. Why aren't even my own. Personal hotspot was not good enough so that cut down on a lot of jobs for me. Well luckily what happened. Was i sat with the new york times. And they encouraged me to set up a gofundme me account so through that we were able to get over thirteen thousand five hundred dollars and it wasn't just about the money i'm sorry. Start crying but it was just overwhelming died. Sent an angel to the motel. I didn't know this person. I asked around the big chain. And they paid about three weeks to the motel for a and they had meals delivered four days a week. A second stimulus would mean the world because we pay for daycare. That was another issue. But i didn't want her to be a part of our adult problems. So i didn't want her spitting around the motel all day looking at me cry or or if i had an interview you know i would have to scramble speeds anybody who watch or and i'm lucky or daycare on the lower and one hundred fifty a week but imagine right now and i get three seventeen a week so if i pay one fifty a week then that at least half of my unemployment that i don't know when i'm gonna go to work. I had a dairy nice doom interview yesterday. But i just don't know you just feel so alone in this world and it's still not over late with this virus is just wreaking havoc in the management of it and this unemployment nonsense and It's just a mess. i'm just spraying. We contain you. Get through it. That was the trish echo from newark. Delaware she. I shared her story with us in october. We heard from trish again. She had some good news. She has moved out of the motel. We were glad to get back into a place of our own. It was a little rough. You know in the motel and not knowing what was to come now. My concerns are I need to keep my place. I don't wanna go back there. The trish is still looking for a job and to make matters worse in mid december. Her boyfriend contracted the corona virus. And that of course brings us right back to the root cause of this past historic year. Healthcare workers have been the tireless witnesses to the pandemic deadly toll. We heard from a lot of them including emma rome an emergency room nurse at massachusetts general hospital in boston. Emma shared her crystal clear memories half a year. After the pandemic i hit he was like an otherwise healthy man in his early sixties And he had walked into the hospital and he was intimated within twenty minutes or half an hour of coming to the hospital that he had walked into and that was a very eye opening like man. This is a really scary virus by then ama- an emergency room nurse. At massachusetts general hospital knew her whole life was about to change but it was hard was just being afraid of getting it and being afraid of you know that maybe by mask. That had been cleaned. Three times wasn't the seal wasn't going to be as good. And you know just that staff that that there was no real way of knowing and no time to really think about it because kobe cases were rising fast. The tense went up with felt apocalyptic like they had the turned the ambulance bay than in lake. This testing center which was great. Obviously so people could get tested. But i think it was just you know it was just really wild and you can always see people have like a special Symbol i guess on their barely electron perfect shows if they have it and i remember just sitting there looking in the area with an every single patient having it. We definitely are just as busy as we were in the before times but it's very challenging because everybody needs to be six feet apart so we reach capacity in a different way and much sooner. My boyfriend also Worked in the er for seventeen or eighteen years and then he was told to come back to the er. They rearrange everything and anybody who had been in. The er was told that they had to come back. And i have to step kids. Who are with us half the time and you know we love dearly and it was really hard decision because we had to decide right in the beginning of it to have them. Just stay with their mother so we weren't able to see them and it happened just very abruptly and it was devastating and i think seeing it research again reminds me how scared i was and how it wasn't that long ago and even i was just listening to npr and And i cut really anxious. You know they talked about making the tent. And i remembered the tense. We had and just how stressful it was in. How lonely all were geared for it to happen again. You know just. Because i know what it was lake and i think it's going to be worse. That's time because there's flu because the money stuff that we're not gonna be a showdown in the same way that we were. I think anticipating that while knowing what. I'm really getting into again and scary. I think it's really scary. That was emma rome an emergency room nurse at massachusetts general hospital in boston. She shared her story with us in october this hour. We're listening to some of our favorite first person stories. We heard throughout two thousand twenty. Stay with us. There's much more to come. I'm magnetic roberti. This is on point. Support ron point and the following message. Come from geico do you own or rent your home. It can be hard work but you know what easy bundling policies with geico geico makes it easy to bundle your homeowner's or renter's insurance along with your auto policy it's a good thing too because you already have so much to do around your home. Go to geico dot com. Get a quote and see how much you could save visit. Geico dot com today. Hey there if you believe in community and in a strong and healthy democracy which i know you do because listen to on point i just wanted to remind you the best way to support both of those things by supporting local journalism so between now and december thirty first you can donate to your local public radio station by going to donate dot. Npr dot org slash. on point. this is on point. I- meghna chakrabarti. We're taking time today to listen back to some of the many personal stories we featured on the show this last year this year of trial and transformation. So let's talk zoom for a second. I mean we have to write in the world of work from home and school from home so many of us feel like we're trapped in those little zoom boxes all day long last june. We spoke with nate croly reviews editor at rock paper shotgun and independent site that reports on the video game industry and he had a great story about one of his friends who decided to dump zoom and instead hold office meetings inside of video game to break the monotony. They decided to try and work out. Where would be the least appropriate place possible to mate and suggested red dead redemption which is proposed not familiar am exactingly details cowboy simulator essentially In the the online mode you get together with a pasi of cowboys cowboys. And in this case being agenda neutral term anyone can be a cowboy. Your cowboys right around an incredibly granular realistic enormous depiction of the american west at the turn of the twentieth century. It's meant for this really massive almost westworld like experience of being cowboy. They decided to use if for conference calling. They started having their matings around the campfire with the cowboys and ended up being way more appropriate than they expected because the cowboys so of look at the having a meeting last sat there around the fire. Acid nodding their heads scratching their chins. Staring off into the middle distance. That polite attentiveness but slight bawden the well acquainted colleagues will take on during a long meeting talking about comas as the wolves howl in the distance. And then of this crips make yourself at home. It is your home. Crips is a non player character is is an entity who looks after your cat raises pretty nice dollar in my keep. I'd rather work calling him out. Sufficiently intelligent might be a little generous. He's the sort of wispy bid goblin who sits around playing mouth hall incessantly. In fact you have to play a little bit the him or else the survey kicks you off for being oil patillo. Vivienne that colleagues around this by constantly making coffee and that's one of the things the cowboys can do and it seems you know again look for a good role playing of being a corporate environment. It's a relaxing environment to top three things in because it's not all in gunfights and dynamite. You can just have a night. Chill this two hundred thirty four animals in the guy this like a dozen kinds of small lovely woodland birds. You can just stroll around looking at the scenery because it really is gorgeous. Yeah it's it's the same factors as walking and talking with a colleague in the real world only. We can't do that at a time. Where it's very easy to become ambient acura phobic stuck inside over time. It's it's quite a release to have these outdoor spaces which consequence free. I think that's what that was neat. Croly reviews editor at rock paper shotgun. An independent site that reports on the video game industry. Well another thing that folks including us thought about over the past year was how the pandemic might disrupt global supply chains or the movement of goods. Well we were quite excited. When truck driver. Mike manus reached out to us last may to share his story of what. It's like being on the road george cars. We have to keep rolling. We deliver absolutely everything that everybody needs and wants. Nobody thinks of us when it comes to just covert nineteen. Nobody's mentioned anything about the truck drivers and what we do just how we really truly are. We're the ones that bring no matter if it's a straight truck or semi or van. We're the ones bringing a couple of the companies i go to. They make the mass. Everybody in the world is trying to get. And i bring product. They need in order to shoot their product out company. We weren't for you know. They think it's not the same as coming from outside of our field that so many not just a thank but to realize what would you do out here and how would it affect each and every single person in the united states not just not just certain people that certain companies. Everybody absolutely everybody. I know at the end of the day. When i come home i knew who did it and untold amount of people by the things that i bring the things that i do and i just. I just thankful that. I had this kind of job. That's mike manus speaking to us. Last may from omaha nebraska. He reached out to us to share his story and in the year to come. We want to hear your story so if you have something you wanna share or a story about an event that's happened to you. Let us know. Call us at six one seven three five three zero six eight three or drop us an email at on point at wbz dot org bit earlier. I called twenty twenty year of trial and transformation. It was also a year of reckoning for this country as protests flooded american streets this summer after the police killing of george floyd in minneapolis and in many cities. Police responded to protesters with force in june. We spoke with nathan baka an investigative reporter for the washington. Tv station w. s. nine on june. First he was reporting on a major protests in lafayette square in washington. Dc when he was tear gassed opening a bag right now since i have them inside the sponsor begging i'm holding one right now it says. See 'em scott. Shell oh c forty millimeter on that june evening. President trump walked to saint. John's episcopal church for a photo op just before seven pm. Law enforcement officers from at least three federal agencies cleared protesters from the area nathan was in that crowd officers said that no civilians were teargassed that day. Yet nathan found canisters that had been fired at protesters by police. You know what it looks like. It looks like a shotgun. Shell a very big silver medal shotgun. Shell when you look the inside you see. It says scored and scorched because something was launched there with some powder and it exploded out. Soldiers cannot use tear gas on the battlefield but domestic law enforcement can and did use it on american streets. We got there around five thirty and everything seems peaceful. It was very diverse and energize group. We saw mothers and fathers with children. There we saw middle age folks. We saw people who've probably wouldn't be surprised to maybe have been there during the nineteen sixties and some of the civil rights movement people chanting whose streets our streets chanting. The name of george floyd brianna taylor and others who had been killed and police brutality. This would have been right around six o'clock and we found ourselves right on the fence. Line of lafayette square park. We saw movements of police officers getting really close fence getting to the fence line and that made people nervous. Because i don't know why they were advancing to the fence line just after six o'clock because everybody had known through the news coverage at seven pm was going to be the curfew. I heard a loud speaker coming from the police side unlawfully at square park the first time. I just couldn't make out what it was. It was garbled then. I heard it again. Few minutes later right around six fifteen. One of our other photographers brooks. He thought i think they might be issuing a dispersal and then run six thirty. We heard the first flashbang that pop. Sure enough you see that human wave of people starting to scatter they were afraid about what was happening. The first push was mostly about shock-and-awe stinger ball grenades and lot of popping banging. That was the first wave and then people started to collect themselves inside. The intersection of -ation seventeen at that point would have been around six thirty five forty. We started to notice. These gas canisters starts to get rolled. Our way i remember running through smoke. From those canisters like this yellowish green color. And i remember seeing this line of police just marched south almost like some civil war battleline marching south firing off these canisters and. They were launching them at distance. Won't forget that because it was. They were like lobbying that not rolling them. They were being fired as they were marching south on seventeenth south of h street. Pass i cried. Like i hadn't experienced before certainly wasn't an emotional cry. It was the cry of their something. Burning your eyes and your tear ducts. Just won't stop becca or photojournalist. She was just coughing quite a bit or running on adrenaline because south on seventeenth street south of h street and trying to get to safety because our security guard. Let's just try to pull us across the street to avoid as best we could. These gas canisters that are starting to keep on rolling past us and you see in our video were running. We change direction quickly to the right because we see a canister that is smoking. This sort of yellowish green is tint rolling to people in front of us that are looking right but we go. We just watched it. We were we were still going live on our air. The us did. Police are taking over this section of eighth street. They're telling everybody moved back but it's happening so that people basically said nagin collapsing and then we rounded the corner again. After a little bit. Because i was hearing in my earpiece that the president was at the rose garden then we started to hear earpiece. That president is walking across to the fiscal church. Just where we were. Before i self journal spec sports anchor daryn hades and our security. John we were all just there then intersection and we started to take notice things that were on the ground on the street and we noticed these canisters our the remnants of the stinger ball grenade. Then we started to pick them up a darren. I we took those canisters and we split the month amongst each other. And i remember wait a minute. His looked slightly different his head. Different markings on it mine was orange. His was light blue. And so i called them up. And i said i need you to show me take a picture what your canister looks like. And he did. And it was exactly how i remember. It was light blue and it sets gas house like that. Idea is further evidence that one of the agencies that cleared lafayette park. That monday used artificial. Tear gas a gas. That is something that everybody was denying was used but it was used and there were the evidence of it when i view the video of what happened and still hear those screams Of people confused shocked. some cases. Physically hurt you hear that and it takes you back to that moment and whereas one could be thankful that most people escaped lasting injury. There may be a concussion here. burns and injuries there. It's still was so shocking to witness that as a kunal group that it shakes one's understanding of what it is to be a citizen that was nathan baka investigative reporter for the washington dc tv station w. usa nine. He was in a crowd teargassed by law enforcement to clear the way for president. Trump's photo op in lafayette square. In june. as summer moved into fall we had the pandemic we had protests and a presidential election due to the pandemic many states expanded mail in voting and allowed early in person. Voting and a record number of americans turned out to vote so even in those early voting locations. Sometimes it was a long wait ever lean. Rutherford voted in georgia on october twelfth. And she's got quite a story beginning with a ten hour. wait to get to the voting booth. I quickly realize probably an hour in that. This was gonna take a long time. There will be fifteen minutes. That would go by where literally no one would come out of the poland area and the line just was not moving and that's were asked her to get frustrated for those ten hours really. I had all kinds of thoughts about about leaving on and off. A lot of people did leave and was like. I can't take this but everyone around was kind of sharing each other on like don't leave. You can stay come on. We got this. I had to go back to my car and get my chair. They held my spot. Everyone was being kind to each other laughing giggling. I enjoyed that part just socializing in being kind to people. No matter who voting for politics was all left out also. My husband was hitting me up and was like stable. You've got this. I have our sons. Don't worry about us vote. I try not to watch the emotional. Nothing about i. Try not to watch the george floyd video but someone had posted a small clip of of when he was on the ground and he was crying out to his mother and i watched that clip of a couple of seconds and i just started crying. And i can't imagine my my son. And i have three boys three black boys young men and i can't imagine that being one of my sons and i want to stay there as long as it as long as i had to make sure that my vote and my voice is heard. I think it's quite ridiculous. The type of lines that we have in georgia to me will. We had the primaries earlier this year. There was extremely long lines as well. I would have thought that they would added more. Polling places did some type of action in order to prevent this again for the actual election. And i really have not seen any changes so to me. They want long lines. They don't want people to get out and vote. They don't want people's voices to be heard is ridiculous that we're still doing stuff like this nowadays like like this is still not fix. That was ever lean rutherford. She lives in kennesaw georgia and she waited in line for ten hours to vote in october. Well this hour. We'll listening back to some of our favorite personal stories we featured on the show in twenty twenty. Stay with us more to come. A magneto bardy. This is on point. This is on point i'm magnet taco bardy this hour. We're listening back. To some of our favorite first person stories we featured on the show in two thousand twenty. Some of them have been heartbreaking but others just transported us. This is the place where the forest meets with see. Many of us think of a national forest is just a bunch of trees but this is much more than that. That's amy julich a writer and photojournalist. Who spent lots of time. In the tonga's national forest in southeast alaska. Why the tonga's well the tonga's national forest is one of the largest intact temperate. Rainforests left in the world and as a national forest land serve many purposes in late october. The trump administration removed decades old protections on the tongue is opening up to potential logging mining and other development so although we did spend an hour talking about the future of the forest aiming bulich guided us through the beauty of the forest as it is right now so you'll see very steep forested mountains that seemed to just rise out at the ocean matt's on the mainland and then just off that mainland there are thousands and thousands of forest islands. And those are also part of the thomas so this is a place where the forest meets the c where waterways are weaving amongst all of these islands. It's a very wet cool temperate rainforest very misty like low clouds will just kind of hugger just above the treetops. But that's what. I absolutely love about it. When i'm sitting on stanton's fawning streams what i love about that experience. Is that nothing else matters. Except what is happening right before me and whether that's a lot of action in meaning a lot of salmon or streaming by the bears around me. That's actually what i hope is going to be happening so i can be photographing that but there are quieter moments to. There's not a lot of bears around. And that's what i really start looking around. Really take in everything. Soy taken that the sound the sound alone are amazing. You've got ravens you know what these of heartbeat screams. They do when they do these croaking sound. You're hearing that like kind of reverberate. All throughout the forest. You're hearing front of the chitchatting bald eagles screaming of the screeching of gulls. And then what. I absolutely love are the sounds but the salmon me like the splash of their tails if they hit a spot in the stream which they often do to warehouse their body is out of the water and the other half is wriggling. Har- tried to get into a deeper part of the street. You'll you'll hear that tail slapping you know out of the water and hear their body wriggling. You know a lot of times. I'll just close my eyes. And just listen to all these thousand. You can just hear how alive Displaces that amy gullick a writer and photojournalist. Talking about the tonga's national forest in southeast alaska. Okay so i'm going to draw you back from alaska here and back to politics sort of on saturday november seventh joe biden addressed the nation for the first time as president elect. He will be only the second catholic president in us history. And in his speech that night in wilmington delaware biden referenced his catholic faith by invoking a particular him captured the faith that sustains may relief sustains america and hope and i hope we can provide some comfort and solace the two hundred thirty million thousand americans who've lost a love of this terrible virus this year. My heart goes out to each and every one of you. Hopefully him gives you solace as well goes like this and he will raise you up on eagle's wings bury you on the breadth of dog and make you just sign hike the sun and hold you in the palm of his hand. The mention of the him stood out to many americans watching the address singer. Lana del rey. Covered it on her instagram. He goes the him draws from psalm. Ninety one in the bible but it was composed by father. Jan michael jonkers a priest and the artist in residence and research fellow in catholic studies at the university of saint thomas in saint paul minnesota six. I had dropped out of the seminary system for a while and was working but wanted to keep friendships up with people that i had studied with and one of them was man named doug hall from all who had continued in the seminary system and was studying at theological college in washington. Dc well when we came home to theological college after a wonderful dinner. There was a message waiting for doug saying that his dad had just had a heart attack and the song was actually generated between that night of the wake service for his damn. I would say that the most common experience for me when people contact me about having used. The song is in the context of funerals so their experience of comfort and encouragement that the loss of a loved one is usually why they would write to me. Some ninety. One is part of the formal night prayer for roman catholics. In a thing called the liturgy of the hours. Semen pace in the most under the shadow of the all night and some ninety. One is one of the psalms. That's strike four one of the days nightmare. So i've been praying it for years with this feather and under his wings shops and it came to mind when thinking about trying to create a song that would be of comfort and encouraged one of the great blessings of living long enough to hear the song done in many different. Contexts is now to look back and realize that. Although it started in a catholic ambit- it soon moved beyond catholicism to other christian denominations so it was no longer confined just two dollars. A massive car bomb exploded outside of a large federal building in downtown oklahoma city shattering. That building killing children middling oklahoma bombings took place some years ago. I believe the wife of the governor of oklahoma at that time asked that eagles wings e son for the memorial service and. That was the first time that i recognize. The song had gone beyond even religious direct religious context to now be kind of a civic. You and i was absolutely delighted. Uh to see that it could move beyond certain frameworks and make comfort and encouragement available to people in other contexts. When president-elect by used in a new context it wakened at tiredly new way of interpreting the song for me. And i thought perhaps he's thinking we are as as american citizens divided about fifty percent against fifty percent. And here's the image of an eagle flying. it's impossible for an eagle to fly with only one way. It means both of the wings to be able to soar. And perhaps he's thinking we need both sides. Though fifty percent and fifty percent to soar ahead into the future has good country. You will be your father. Jan michael junkies a priest and artist in residence and research fellow in catholic studies at the university of saint thomas in saint paul minnesota. He shared the story behind on eagles wings with us in november. You're listening to susan. Powell and the oklahoma city philharmonic performed the song at the memorial service for the victims of the oklahoma city bombing in one thousand nine hundred five. Well finally. let's end. Today's our on a note of hope and renewal. During the election season. We held a ten part series of voter roundtables and we heard from a cross section of americans military veterans newly naturalized citizens suburban voters young americans voters from across the political spectrum in late september. We were joined by amid vevey. Of beaverton oregon. Ahmed was born in iraq and he became a us citizen just days before talking with us. So when did you become a. Us citizen three days ago three days ago. Congratulations thank you. What was that moment like. Well it's a ceremony like is a dream come true because honesty. I was dying to get my Citizenship before the election off. Med got to vote living in oregon with. It's all vote by mail system. He had his son take a video as he dropped off his ballot and in the video off. Matt does a little dinner because i was happy. This is the first time for me. This is historical moment. For me on my. Here's the update. It just so happens. That i'm ed and his wife. Russia had something else to look forward to in early november. They were expecting their third child. The first born in the united states we won't be around like november eight nine. we don't know which funnily enough would have been right around when the presidential race was finally called however something even better happened. Election day arrives and early on november third like iran. I am my wife. She says. I think i need to go to hospital. Yeah you know where this is going on hospital and everybody like all the nurse and doctors. They focused and i. I was watching us on the road like ignoring everything just to see what we got like and like my washy looking like really think is nine two. Am pacific time on november third russia. Who by the way russia. I totally with you. You were right to chide your husband. Russia and ahmed son ali was born. I was happy. I for elite to arrive that day. Just like we have something like remind that day forever. Mom and baby are healthy. So ahmed russia analee were home by saturday. Ahmed told us when they learned the race had been called for president. Elect joe biden. He danced again. We does together the victory so he opened his eyes like white. And i think asking like what's happening right now like why. Why shake like this like so anyway. I know that's how one day you will understand that. Honestly i will tell him. We had like a big fight. Like i mean election and especially with the big numbers. We got people to make them involved with election. Victory and this is for both sides. They need to be proud of it for him. I will tell him. We will not forget his birthday. Because it's election day and i would keep feeding him ideas that we need to keep this nation united and work for the better from through four our kids. And that's the thing isn't it sometimes. It takes a new american. Like ahmed to remind us this man who came from iraq who says he saw firsthand. The war-torn blood-soaked costs of insurmountable division. That i moved so our responsibility to stand for this nation. Not that any politician to try to devalue those every four years americans from all walks of life all political persuasions have the chance to touch the spirit of renewal. The process is imperfect but the opportunity is there. So there's one less thing we asked ahmed ave to do for us. We asked him to record a message for his son the newest citizen in his family and he did it holding his baby. His big arms stroking ali's tiny cheek and chen. Ahmed spoke to the man. Ali might become and election day. Right love you because you bring all that good luck for our nation. Have you be collectible. Hey man listen when you growing up let someone can make this nation united again or you can be that person however maintenace nation united again. Okay love you That's amid as who've eighty of beaverton oregon speaking with his baby son ali who was born on election day. Two thousand twenty so there you have it. Some of our favorite first person stories. We were privileged to share with you this past year and in the year to come. We want more of your stories so if you have a story you wanna share. Let us know we might reach out to you and talk with you in this upcoming year of twenty one call us at six one seven three five three zero six eight three or email us at on point at w. b. u. r. dot org and one last thing you hear my voice every day but this show simply does not exist without our incredible staff and bouwman jack beatty jonathan chang. Eileen amata stephanie could sonus hillary mcquilken james. Ross dorey shammar tim. Scott grace chatter and wertheim special. Thanks to graham griffith. Thank you all for your dedication and hard work in. What was a very hard year. You're amazing. I am privileged to work with you. I'm meghna chakrabarti. We'll see you all on point in twenty twenty one.

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