BBC Finds Hope for Unity in Reader’s Digest Nicest Place in America

BBC U.S. correspondent James Coomarasamy visited the 2020 pick for the Nicest Place in America to see what makes this small Michigan town so special.

If you need “a victory of unity over division” today, try this BBC World Service report about Buchanan, Michigan, the Reader’s Digest 2020 Nicest Place in America. The legendary British broadcaster sent U.S. correspondent James Coomarasamy to this tiny rustbelt town to learn what makes the people there so special and what they have to teach the rest of America.

When the COVID-19 pandemic canceled Buchanan’s beloved Memorial Day parade, a 150-year-old tradition, the town persevered by hanging banners of their local veteran heroes up and down the streets, turning downtown into a 24/7 celebration of service and freedom. And when George Floyd was killed—on Memorial Day itself—Buchanan residents joined with town leaders and police in a peace march, calling for justice and saying in one loud voice, “not in our town.”

When Coomarasamy asked one resident if we can heal America’s divisions, she replied without hesitation, “Absolutely!” The key? According to this BBC report, it’s simple: Being “nice.” At Reader’s Digest, that means treating each other with dignity and respect, working to enrich our communities, turning neighbors into friends, and welcoming strangers.

Listen here (starting about 8 minutes in) and also read our full story about Buchanan.

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