Tuesday, May 4, 2010

We Will Stand Again

Nashville is a city built on the limestone bedrock prevalent throughout Middle Tennessee. A foundation for the edifices on both sides of the Cumberland River, the limestone is a lot like the people of Nashville.

Solid, sturdy.

This past weekend, the very foundation of the people of Nashville was put to the test as Mother Nature decided to see just how solid and sturdy a people Nashvillians really are. Storms that began early Saturday morning dropped nearly 14 inches of rain in the city before finally abating on Sunday evening.

Mother Nature decided to see how much of a punch Nashville and her people could really take.

And frankly, she knocked us down. Hard.

It is no disgrace to get knocked down. It happens to every person, community, or nation. It is painful. The telling part about the character of any person, city, or country, however, is if they will get back up and stand again.

In Nashville, we will stand again.

Images of people who had been flooded out of homes and lost everything were flashed across our televisions and internet feeds instantaneously. We watched in real time the grief, the horror, and the agony as our neighbors watched their homes being swept away; as their livlihoods were ruined; or worst of all, as loved ones were missing.

The damage was widespread and catastrophic, and as we viewed those images, we saw another image as well. One that should forever be indelible.

It was people of Nashville reaching out to help those that were in peril, that were hurting and suffering loss, that were completely flattened by the force of Mother Nature's punch.

Strangers that got people they did not know out of harm's way. Strangers that were sheltered by compassionate people who opened their homes and their hearts. A community reaching out to their own and lifting them back to their feet.

Solid. Sturdy. The people of Nashville.

Patten Fuqua wrote an eloquent piece entitled "We Are Nashville" on the Cellblock 303 website, and it can be read here. In his piece, he mentioned that you haven't heard much about what has happened in Nashville because the people of Nashville didn't loot, didn't riot. Instead, they helped their neighbor and set about to clean up and recover.

Solid. Sturdy. The people of Nashville

This won't be over quickly. The devastation to parts of the city are unspeakable. Lives have been forever altered by the fury of nature. The process of standing will be painful, and it will take time, immense effort, and determination.

But know this:

We will stand again!

If you want to help, please visit these sites to learn about opportunities or to make a donation:

Hands On Nashville

The Community Foundation of Nashville & Middle Tennessee

Text "Red Cross" to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the Red Cross in Nashville

The Salvation Army- Nashville

All animal shelters in Nashville and the surrounding counties are in need of pet supplies.

Second Harvest Food Bank Nashville

photo by samuel M. Simpkins/The Tennessean

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