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Spring is an amazing time of year. Here in Michigan, the lakes thaw, the birds return, the flowers bloom, the trees bud and the brown grasses of winter rebound to a lush green. In Michigan, we are a hardy lot. We quietly and confidently persevere through winter because we know those dark days are only temporary. Michigan residents know that days become brighter, life gets better and the American robin sings again. 

This annual ritual is not limited to the Wolverine State. It is synonymous with the people across the country. For nearly 250 years, Americans have overcome a multitude of challenges.

That is the beauty of the indomitable American spirit — a unique tenacity to shine our brightest when we’re in our darkest hour. We are never helpless. We are never hopeless. As Americans, we are never alone. 

Everywhere we look, we see the competitive spirit and camaraderie of Americans — whether it’s as individuals or companies — unleashing a monumental response filled with compassion, determination, ingenuity and innovation.

From heroic acts by doctors and nurses, as well as numerous acts of charity and kindness by individuals or organizations, we are rising to meet the moment as patriots with a can-do attitude to defeat this invisible enemy.

Trucking companies and their drivers operate 24/7 to ensure we all have daily access to essential goods with minimal interruption. Grocery stores remain steadfastly open. Hundreds of companies are racing to develop a vaccine and effective treatments.

In Michigan, companies are adapting to the disruption. Meijer and other grocers are offering new times for seniors to shop, in order to promote a safe environment for older residents to get needed items without being around younger customers who might be carrying the virus.

The Ilitch family has donated a million dollars to a fund to help offset the income that won’t be earned by Tigers’ and Red Wings’ employees with the suspension of their seasons.

Bedrock Detroit, which owns many of the buildings in Detroit, is waiving rent for three months for the small businesses and restaurants in its properties.

The automakers are looking for ways to help build more medical equipment including ventilators, while Dow, Amway, and distilleries in the state are producing hand sanitizer to meet surging demand. And, Jimmy Greene, president and CEO of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan, has worked with McDonald’s to raise more than $10,000 and distribute more than 3,000 Happy Meals in the Mid-Michigan region. 

Know that our challenging times are inspiring American hearts and minds to do great things, rallying resolutely on all fronts. 

We hope you will do what you can to help the American spirit shine during this time. Extend a “thank you” and “thumbs up” to the brave and selfless individuals who are letting us all enjoy some degree of normalcy. Exercise your freedom and humanity to reach out to family and friends often. Let them know how important they are to you and connect with them over voice or video chats. 

We are supremely confident that when this chapter of history is written, there will be volumes of shining moments that demonstrate the resiliency and ingenuity of the American people. 

John Moolenaar is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the 4th District of Michigan, Kent D. MacDonald is president and CEO of Northwood University and Timothy G. Nash is director of the McNair Center at Northwood University.

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