Responding to those in need

John Hatcher's picture

Dateline Enterprise, Alabama: the most powerful man in the world, President George W. Bush, tours the devastation in the aftermath of a deadly tornado that flattens a high school and takes precious young lives.

Dateline Americus, Georgia: the leader of the free world visits Jimmy Carter’s home county to comfort victims of a very powerful tornado.

Don’t know about you, but I get a lump in my throat and my hairs stand up when I see the president — Republican or Democrat — express the sympathy and encouragement of this great nation to those whose lives have been torn asunder by disaster of one sort or another. It makes me proud to be an American! In fact, I wish our president could do more of that than be so involved in all the political wrangling in Washington.

The president probably would have never visited Enterprise or Americus unless some disaster had taken place. I am proud of the president when he expresses our heartfelt hurt over what has taken place in thousands of lives.

But I am also proud of everyday Americans who are rallying support for the victims of the storms. When I see my fellow Americans stop the important things they are doing to lend a hand, my heart swells with great pride and love. My daddy would shed a tear at such sights and I am glad he would. It blessed him and it blesses me to see people demonstrate compassion through their use of backhoes and gas-powered saws.

Tornadoes, hurricanes, and even tragic traffic accidents take human life that never can be replaced. But from the pain and death and suffering come something far more powerful, something far more real, something far more impacting and that is the compassion, comfort, and consolation of the people of this great nation.

America is a great people and in times of crisis, greatness shines more than any other time.
Atlanta certainly had its share of death this past week. Yet, in the midst of the tragic loss of lives, there were those people who scuttled their personal plans for the sake of people in need — neighbors from the north. Thousands of people were impacted in one way or another by the deaths on Northside Drive. But, hundreds of thousands, yea, millions and millions of people, saw a community come together and give its love and compassion. I am proud to be part of greater Atlanta.

I have a nephew who is director of security at one of the downtown hospitals. I knew he was giving his all to make sure everything was done for those ballplayers that were brought to his place of work.

Our country is a great place to live not so much because of its opportunity but because of our neighbors’ care and response when we are in need. God bless America.

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