The Stuff of Legends- the Response to Hurricane Harvey
The rains came, and came, and came, again- setting records which no one, in their right mind, would ever seek. Hurricane Harvey, gaining strength from the hot waters of the Gulf of Mexico, assaulted the southeastern coast of Texas with wind and water. Stalled by the approach of a southeastern-bound high pressure system, Harvey loitered on the Texas coast just long enough to deluge the entire area under water- the likes of which have never been seen in the United States. Its costs in dollars will have seen no equal and the many lives lost in the treacherous floodwaters, though thankfully not record-setting, nevertheless remind us that there are certain things far beyond the control of man that can separate the living from this life.
Perhaps worse for those who survived the storm- those who have seen their entire lives and livelihoods stripped away- are the prospects of rebuilding from scratch. Their homes destroyed, their belongings damaged beyond repair, their keepsakes and other irreplaceable items lost forever, they must now face the formidable frustration of having to start all over again…
In all of the footage of disappearing highways and rushing rivers, we also saw the very thing that makes America the special place that it is- a place which is oft-forgotten, but is always there, despite the push and pull of political posturing. Americans always rush to come to the aid of the besieged, whether in war or in natural disaster, here at home and around the world. The efforts of emergency responders and just plain ordinary folks, to assist the many thousands of displaced, desperate and dispossessed people, shows just who we are as a nation.
It belies the fraudulent storyline of a mainstream media, set on otherwise dividing people into camps of identity labels, that America is a nation falling apart at its seams. The real storyline is that Americans come together in the worst of times, and the heroic efforts of a people united in purpose stands in the face of those who would rather see us destroyed- AntiFa, BLM, radical leftists, Islamic terrorists, Neo-Nazis, the Klan. Added together, these pathetic examples of human excrement are no match for the rest of us- the ones who care about others and are willing to sacrifice all in the name of humanity. That is who real Americans are and that’s what real Americans do- come to the aid of the misfortunate. Real Americans have no use for media malcontents who stir up controversy about the first lady’s shoes, and whether or not President Trump is ever going to find favor with those who hate him and seek an end to his presidency.
While it is premature to assess how the Trump administration is managing this emergency, early indicators are that the president and his cabinet are doing a far better job than other presidents who have had to deal with national emergencies. It is true that Trump has had the benefit of competent state governors and mayors, unlike what occurred in Hurricane Katrina, where Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco was late in calling in the National Guard, and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin hunkered down in his hotel room. Despite this advantage, Trump ignored precedent by declaring the region a disaster area before the fact, and put into place federal government resources in advance of the storm. In so doing, President Trump may well have re-written the “book” on disaster management from a federal response level. Never mind that the media will conveniently overlook this accomplishment.
It will be many months, and even years, for southeastern Texas, Louisiana and other affected states to be rendered whole again, once the waters subside and life returns to some state of normalcy. The challenges faced by those so adversely affected are horrendous, to say the least.
Yet when all is said and done, it will be these heroic efforts and the march back from disaster that will stand the test of time and become the stuff of legends.
God bless us all.
-Drew Nickell, 31 August 2017
© 2017 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved.
author of “Bending Your Ear- a Collection of Essays on the Issues of Our Times”
now available at Amazon
Signed and personalized editions now available at my website:
Follow my postings on the RSS feed: http://www.drewnickell.com/?feed=rss2