Every day, when the Pandemic was at its height, Governor Cuomo gave a daily briefing on the state of Covid 19. You may remember hearing about his media briefing of April 24th in which he read a handwritten letter he received from a retired farmer from Kansas.
The letter written on a sheet of yellow notepad paper said: “Dear Mr. Cuomo, I seriously doubt that you will ever read this letter as I know you are busy beyond belief with a disaster that has befallen our country. We are a nation in crisis of that there is no doubt. I’m a retired farmer hunkered down in northeast Kansas with my wife who has but one lung and occasional problems with her remaining lung. She also has diabetes. We are in our seventies now and frankly I am afraid for her. Enclosed, find a solitary N95 mask, left over from my farming days. It has never been used. If you could, could you please give this mask to a nurse or doctor in your state. I have kept four masks for my immediate family. Please keep on doing what you do so well. Which is to lead. Sincerely, Dennis and Sharon Ruknke.”
A visibly moved governor Cuomo said as he held the mask: “A farmer in northeast Kansas. His wife has one lung and diabetes. He has five masks. He sends one mask to New York for a doctor or nurse, keeps four masks. You want to talk about a snapshot of humanity…? How beautiful is that that? I mean how selfless is that? How giving is that…?
“It’s that love, that courage, that generosity of spirit that makes this country so beautiful. And makes Americans so beautifulgenerosity of spirit that, for me, makes up for all the ugliness that you see.”
This weekend we celebrate and remember our Independence. With that Independence comes the responsibility to support one another. Let us remember all those who have given selflessly, their lives, for our freedoms. Let us never forget to thank our veterans and those serving our country now for continuing to protect our freedoms.
Thank You For Your Service.