We'd noticed — in emails and messages we received, as well as wire stories, posts on social media sites and in conversations overheard — a very real yearning and push for unity now that a fairly divisive election is behind us.

Us included: we were calling for handshakes all around.

It struck us Friday morning, as we were rushing to get some work done before heading off for downtown, that the incredible annual Veterans Day Parade through Marysville would be one of the most likely events for helping everyone get past their personality and political clashes and join together in honoring veterans and military.

Unity through gratitude and appreciation. And from out there on the streets of Marysville yesterday, that was working.

It was a great parade. Lots of people were shaking hands, hugging, waving at people in the parade or waving at people standing along the route. There were thousands of us watching, there were many veterans on motorcycles, in fancy cars, riding in trailers or marching along. There were plenty of people marching. The mighty Girl Scouts were there, as well as lots of Boy Scouts. High school bands. A few contingencies from Beale. Tractors galore. The usual great assortment and they were young and old, rich and poor, Republicans and Democrats … and they all looked like patriotic Americans, because that's how they were acting.

So … it can be done.

We always get throat-lumpy at the Veterans Day parade. It's a condition that develops as we see some young kid hugging some old guy; or when there's a big group of vets on motorcycles making a lot of racket and enjoying every minute of it because they're together; or when we see uniformed service members from Beale walking along and stopping here and there to shake hands; or when we turn to each other and try to talk about people we remember and what they went through or about those we lost.

We feel tremendous gratitude for those who went to war on our behalf. It's touching to see people be appreciative of veterans and veterans appreciative of the attention.

Lots of pride.


Thumbs Up: One more plug for the California Swan Festival. It's a great event and a great fit for our community. We have a treasure here — our flooded rice fields and riparian areas attract millions of migrating birds and they're wonderful to watch.

The festival features a host of guided tours and programs that put visitors and locals in touch with the waterfowl and migratory birds — it's something huge, something that joins us with the rest of the world. It's inspiring.

Check it out at caswanfestival.com or at Swan Central today and Sunday at the Caltrans building at 703 B St. in Marysville.

Also: Another thumbs up to the folks participating in the Festival of Gems and Minerals, sponsored by the Sutter Buttes Gem and Mineral Society — admission is free to the show that runs 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at the Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds, 442 Franklin Ave.


Thumbs Up: We're very happy the city of Yuba City is hosting a forum on public safety. (We wish there would have been more advanced notice so we could have better planned for it). The Public Safety Community Meeting is today at 4 p.m. at River Valley High School's multipurpose room, 801 El Margarita Road.

Yuba City Police Department and Sutter County District Attorney Office representatives will discuss public safety and will be available to answer questions.


Arrrghhh: What happens if you ban pre-shredded cheese? You make America grate again.

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