Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, one of my favorite times of the year was hosting our annual senior holiday meals across the state. These events were a great opportunity for older Vermonters to come together to celebrate the season, eat good food, and connect with each other. And while it remains safest to gather virtually, I continue to want to hear directly from our seniors. I hope you will join me virtually to discuss the issues that impact you, your family, friends, and neighbors.
It is no secret that Vermont and the entire nation are facing a mental health crisis. This crisis has been long-standing, but it has been exacerbated by the COVID pandemic – and all of the illness, fears, isolation, and disrupted school and work schedules that we have experienced. As a result, in the last few years, Americans have experienced an increase in anxiety and depression, drug and alcohol related deaths, death by suicide, and intimate partner violence.
Tucked into the foothills of Whitingham on the southernmost edge of Vermont, the Corse family have been stewards of their farmland since 1868. More than 150 years later, Leon Corse continues that long tradition today with his family’s dairy – where he himself grew up and later raised his own kids, Henry, Caleb, and Abbie. Today he runs the farm with his wife Linda and now their daughter Abbie as well.
Each Veterans Day, we pause to honor and remember the brave Vermonters, and our brothers and sisters across the country, who put on the uniform to keep our communities, our families, and our nation safe and protected. Vermont has a long and proud history of military service throughout U.S. history, dating all the way back to the Green Mountain Boys during the American Revolution. On Friday, we came together in St. Albans to commemorate that legacy and the extraordinary sacrifice of our veterans and their families.