We take the rough with the smooth, the ups with the downs ...
The first issues of 2021, our 149th year of consecutive publishing of Nordstjernan, have been published. 'The birthday' isn’t until September 21, 2022 but after the year 2020 it feels as if we are once again part of something much bigger than putting ink to paper or keeping our community informed and entertained. The coronavirus pandemic has been a tragedy for all of the U.S. and the world. It has affected all of us personally and deeply.
Our earliest readers, the newcomers of the second half of the 19th century barely spoke English, much less read it. Many arrived at eastern ports with a small trunk, with an extra pair of underwear and a wool shirt, some with a few tools of their trade. No knowledge of the language and only disparate ideas of the new environment. Yet, clearly our ancestors survived, or how else would we be here?
Many of the first immigrants kept together on their respective roads to new settlements, forming organizations and churches along the way as a means of keeping together and holding on to something from their past. Together with the slow-working mail, the many newspapers that grew up in the wake of the first waves of mass emigration became a lifeline to the greater community. One of the first was Nordstjernan. And the only survivor from that century is Nordstjernan, which in this century grew faster than ever in readership in 2020.
It took resilience for our ancestors to survive and make it in the new world; it took a fighting spirit and it took a willingness to adapt, change and learn new things. That much we all have in common—you, your fellow readers, I, along with Nordstjernan itself and its staff throughout the centuries. Let us not forget that as we enter the new and so far promising year 2021.
There are now two vaccines available that have been approved by the FDA for distribution, and vaccinating people has started but it will take time before it reaches a major amount of the population, us. Meanwhile statistics on covid cases and deaths are gruesome from so many states. We trust that you will do as our ancestors: stay resilient and stay safe by adhering to the advice from our health institutions and scientists. In life, we have to take the rough with the smooth, the ups with the downs.
Wishing you all a safe, healthy and happy continuation of the new year, which started with much promise and much light at the far end of the tunnel.

Ulf Barslund Martensson
Editor & Publisher