Those who work with refugees are unsung heroes. Our new Afghan neighbors, too.

WEST BRATTLEBORO — I was fortunate to attend two recent events celebrating our new neighbors from Afghanistan and the large number of individuals in our community helping them to settle in.

The first was an Afghan Welcome Event in March filled with Afghan culture. The second, more recently, was the Brattleboro Area Unsung Hero Award Ceremony, whose “heroes” were two staff members of the Multicultural Community Center representing the staff and volunteers of that organization and the many others who have been pitching in to help these Afghan refugees.

We so appreciate these efforts, and we thank Compassionate Brattleboro for organizing these events.

Among the many memorable moments at the Unsung Hero Award Ceremony at the River Garden Marketplace was the singing by the Peter Amidon chorus, with all of us joining in on their second song. Another was the heartfelt expression of gratitude voiced by the Afghans present.

A third was a presentation by Thomas Huddleston, a senior official of the Multicultural Center. Huddleston expressed appreciation to the staff members and volunteers being honored, but also made an astute observation.

He pointed out that among our heroes are the Afghans themselves. They have exhibited unimaginable courage both in Afghanistan before their departure and now here in southern Vermont, and they are already making themselves valuable members of our community.

Welcome, friends. We're so happy that you're here!

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