Thursday, May 6, 2010

My View

Images of the flooding and the aftermath in Nashville

This will be a departure from my normal state of the world "My View" post. Since I put up the last "My View" this past Friday, the world for many Nashvillians has been forever altered. The raging storm waters that were spawned by up to 18" of rain in parts of Middle Tennessee devastated property, dislocated families and businesses, and, tragically, took lives.

Now that the flood waters have receded, the extent of the physical damage is becoming apparent, and it is staggering. While the damages are still being assessed, the cost in lives lost is still rising as well, as numerous people are still missing, swept away in the torrent of nature's fury.

In the midst of the tumult, and especially afterwards, the character of the people of Nashville and the surrounding area has shown itself to be solid and sturdy. Neighbors reached out not only to neighbors, but to those they did not know to offer assistance and comfort. Businesseses put aside a profit motive and offered their support to the hurting. That effort is continuing unabated, as people from parts of Nashville unaffected by the floods have mounted efforts to remove debris, clean houses, and wash clothes for those displaced. The outpouring of volunteer efforts has been amazing to outsiders, but not for us that live here. 

It is what we do.

Praise must be given to the men and women in the police and fire departments in Nashville and other communities. These men and women constantly put themselves into harm's way to rescue those trapped by the flood waters. Innumerable water rescues were performed without a single loss of life. Firefighters fought house fires standing knee deep in flood waters. Police, fire, and emergency management personnel worked for days to insure our safety. Thank you.

The recovery is under way, but it will not be easy. Nashville will take a hit economically. The financial impact to businesses and individuals goes far beyond the cost of the cleanup. The task of returning normalcy to our lives will be arduous. But we will return to normal.

It is what we do.

The support of the Twitter community from outside of Nashville has been amazing. Donations, prayers, words of concern have flowed in, and they are not stopping. A new medium of communication has tied together a new community, and in a time of distress, that new, electronic community, has done what all real communities do.

They responded.

For all of us as Nashvillians, we face our time of tribulation. We have been hurt physically, financially, and emotionally. It is going to take some time to bounce back. We will bounce back.

It is what we do.

And as individuals and collectively as a community, we will be once again solid and sturdy.

Out of the depths of this disaster, good will become visible. We will learn of acts of heroism. Not necessarily a dramatic rescue, but the heroism of a neighbor embracing a neighbor and helping them with their burden. We will forge new bonds of community across racial and economic lines as we attempt to restore our beloved city.  We will vanquish the challenges before us.

It is what we do.

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