Buchanan Michigan is a small city in Berrien County. It’s just to the west of Niles and only about 10 miles northwest of South Bend. The population has held at a little over 4 thousand for the last decade. It’s had to work hard to stay viable after Clark Equipment and Electrovoice pulled their headquarters out of town.

But people around the country are hearing a lot about Buchanan this week. And most everyone in the city is enjoying the limelight. The town is being featured in the current issue of Readers Digest. Well, more than just featured.  Buchanan is being honored as the Readers Digest 2020 “Nicest Place In America”. Reader’s Digest editors went over more than 1,000 potential cities and towns this year, looking for what they felt would be a good combination of heartwarming stories, and people helping their neighbors.

Buchanan got some attention earlier in the year when residents marched through the small downtown area alongside city police officers under the American flag following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. That march also included a local veterans group banner. And then with the COVID-19 restrictions on large public gatherings, some residents came up with a way to honor veterans in the area as an alternative to the traditional Memorial Day Parade.  They had huge banners made up of photos of local veterans. More than 100 were hung up on lampposts all around the city.

Readers Digest Editor-In-Chief Bruce Kelley commented on the selection of Buchanan, saying, “This year, we received an avalanche of heartwarming stories, many of them from people uniting in their local communities to overcome the pandemic and to say ‘no more’ to racial injustice. In Buchanan, the people did both, all under the banner of the First Amendment, the American flag and patriotism. It gives me hope for our country.”

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