This year has been a very busy, and very unusual year. So many big events have happened around the world, that it is difficult to remember everything. Some people will say that this year has been a very hard year. Some people will say that this has been the worst year that they can remember. Maybe we can understand that feeling. 2020 has been a very hard year.
This year Australia has giant forest fires. So much land and forest was burning in Australia. Millions of animals that are special to Australia were killed. It was a terrible environmental disaster. It will take many years for the natural forests of Australia to recover.
This year, in January, the corona virus was found in Wuhan, China. In a few months, the corona virus has spread all over the world. More than 20 million people became sick with corona virus, and over 750,000 people have died because of COVID 19.
A crazy person takes a gun and kills 23 Canadians in a small town in Nova Scotia. It is the worst violent event of Canada like this in the entire history of my country. In May, an airplane in Pakistan crashes and 97 people die. India and China begin to fight on their border. China increases pressure to stop free speech in Hong Kong. America has giant Black Lives Matter protests and the country has more and more violence and racism than we have seen in many years.
The great basketball player Kobe Bryant crashes and dies in a helicopter accident. The incredible unique guitar player Eddie Van Halen dies from cancer. The soul singer, Little Richard dies. Ennio Morricone, the fantastic classical composer and conductor passes. Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the Supreme Court judge who fought for many years for equal rights for girls and women dies. Diego Maradona, the soccer legend dies. Sean Connery, famous for acting as James Bond the 007 spy also dies. So does Bill Withers, the deep soul singer who sang, “Lean on Me”. These were the people who gave us hope and inspiration. They gave us music and stories and sports. We will miss them.
But we have made great discoveries this year too. In Scotland, the oldest dinosaur fossil is discovered. It is like a big caterpillar and 425 million years old. NASA launches a mission to Mars to look for signs of life. Scientists believe they may have found signs of micro-biological life on the planet Venus. We may see things die and problems happen here, but we also know that we are part of a long chain of life, from millions of years before to life that continues to fight and grow.
At this time the dark year of 2020 is closing soon. We see some light in the darkness. We are in a long tunnel for 2020, but there is light that we can see at the end of this road. A vaccine for COVID 19 is coming to the world, and we will find a way to make a new normal life. The crazy problems of America may begin to settle down as they change their president to Mr. Joe Biden.
As we come to the end of 2020 we need to remember that we should be grateful. We need to be grateful for the people around us. We need to be grateful to our friends and people in our families. We need to be grateful to people in our neighborhoods and communities who help others. We need to be grateful to our teachers and our coaches. We need to be grateful that life will continue, and we will have more and more chances.
There is an expression that the night is the darkest just before the sun rises. I think this is true. We are at a dark time, but the sun will rise up tomorrow. The sun will rise on 2021 and we will feel the warm light of life, of hope, and of many good things to come.
Let’s be grateful for learning so much this year, and be glad for a new year to come from next month.