Who We Are As Americans

The past few months have been a traumatic time for our country. We've become very polarized as a nation. For the past few years, our minds focus on the terrorist threat from abroad trying our best to avoid another 9-11. We've been at war in the middle east and find ourselves stretched in many ways. Then, even with a warning, a hurricane of epic proportions rips through the Gulf Coast leaving hundreds of thousands stranded, homeless, and emotionally lost.

I've watched again the pictures of the struggle people endured in Texas and Louisiana and the entire region affected. I've looked with awe at the power and destructiveness of one of our nature's greatest storms. I've cried over the pain that so many have endured. But in spite of these inadequacies of humanity, I also see the heroes coming from all over the country to aid and to help in any way those in need.

In all these horrible moments I see rescuers working day and night trying to save and heal lives. I see doctors and nurses, fireman, police, soldiers of all kinds working hand in hand to do whatever they can to make life possible amid all the confusion and disarray that such a tragedy creates. However, I still see the homeless stream in and the rescuers continue their relentless pursuit of life.

What a mixture of emotions such as moments of elation followed by sorrow strikes all who witness this struggle against nature. Finger pointers try and find blame thinking that men are at fault, but they only increase the pain felt by those in the midst of this recovery. I choose to see the heroes who risk their lives each day. I choose to see an America that is responsive to the needs of others. I choose to feel grateful for the volunteers who in spite of personal hardship leave their homes from far away to help instead of criticizing. I choose to be an American who sees the good in people.

I see each day the works of man helping man and just look with awe and gratitude to be living in a country that holds and values life so dear. In spite of all the horror and destruction brought on the people in the affected areas, I feel deep within that good will prevail and those who lost it all become strengthened by the rebuilding of their world. Out of tragedy will come miracles we as yet do not know. I trust out of sorrow we will see an America we can be proud of and as a people, we will become more respectful of others and thankful for each day we are given to make a difference in this world.

I encourage you to do your part in this struggle and lend a positive example by helping if you can or by giving generously to those who can do so much for so many. Doing is the American way and the way to healing our nation.