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GrotonFest Epilogue:

As the waves of respectful commentary, hoopla and (sadly) mudslinging have passed, it was best stated by a friend of mine that “The event this year now makes everyone feel like they are between a rock and a hard place. If you go, you’re not supporting your friends who recognize Yom Kippur. If you don’t go at all, without a statement why, you feel like you need to say something about that and if you don’t go at all and make a statement, it’s going to look pretty harsh.”

“Bug out, get over it” are some of the responses posted. One letter to the editor looks upon Groton, known for its history of environmental and progressive actions, as a white intolerant community. Even my pocket calendar mentions Yom Kippur but I believe many of us never understood its meaning. In the mirror of self-reflection and 20/20 hindsight, we now know.

And while there was no intended slight, the vitriol of some of the responses gave soapboxes to the worst of who we are as people. This is wrong and months ago a simple change of date could have forestalled the firestorm but now it’s just a stand-off with heels dug in while most of us watch in silent embarrassment.

I look forward to the weather cooling off with the Indian summer that heralds that time before winter will lock us up again and to view the myriad of fall colors that make New England special. But come Sept. 22, rain or shine I will likely have a quiet day at home. Not a protest but a chance to reflect on how this day might have been different if we all were a little more tolerant, aware and respectful of each other.

PATRICK HUGHES

Ayer

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