York Town Square

Part of the USAToday Network

Big outside events touching York County’s soil, people, but that’s nothing new

According to authorities, an al-Qaida terrorist worked as a contractor at southeastern York County, Pa.’s, Peach Bottom Atomic Power Plant (seen here), Three Mile Island and three other American nuclear plants. That is one of many international incidents that have linked up with York County in recent weeks. Also of interest: In the shadow of disaster: York County and its newspaper tested 30 years ago and York County human trafficking: ‘Three years of … long hours, often seven days a week, for no pay’ and Rebel entry into York before Battle of Gettysburg was gut wrenching, community shaping.

York County has brushed against – or collided with – more than its share of national and international events in recent weeks.
The number of York countians who were in Haiti and Chile before, during or after the natural disasters in those nations is surprisingly large.
A York County nail salon owner was charged – along with two others – with trafficking for forcing two Vietnamese women to work at local nail salons for fear that they would be turned over to immigration officials. Those were the third human trafficking or human smuggling cases to publicly touch York County in the past 15 years.
Just recently, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review a Spring Garden Township man’s case against so-called church members who protested his son’s military funeral… .

A Russian-born, Carroll Township youngster died of injuries and his adoptive parents have been arrested on criminal homicide charges. The Russian government is monitoring legal proceedings, and the northwestern York County parents might face “criminal liability” in Russia if not convicted in county court. The U.S. State Department is interested in the case, as well.
Investigators believe Sharif Mobley, a contracted worker at Peach Bottom and TMI, had contact with al-Qaida.
And that’s just a sampling of the county’s interaction with big events outside its borders.
This is an opportune moment for:
– York County residents to perk up concerning how world events touch their lives. Clearly, domestic issues affect our lives, but they often overshadow America’s link to the affairs of the rest of the world.
– Teachers must bring home the importance of world events to each of their students.
– Residents, teachers and students must realize that isolationism does not work. Never has.
Indeed, on that last point, York County always has been linked to issues that originated far outside its borders.
In 1777-78, the Continental Congress, their aides and attendant troops visited here after the British ran them out of Philadelphia. That came at a time when hundreds of York countians were serving in the Continental Army to hold the Redcoats at bay.
In 1863, York County was overwhelmed by invading Confederate troops who were part of a massive rebel assault on the North.
These moments – and many more – are worthy of study.
How our forebears reacted and the decisions they made or didn’t make could inform our actions in a day when our world seems to get flatter by the second.
What happens in Russia or the mountains of Afghanistan or Vietnam does not stay there.