Unsung heroes are everywhere

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 25, 2004

Staff Editorial

Ivan the terrible has gone into history as the most devastating natural disaster Alabama has ever seen. The storm took away power from hundreds of thousands of homes for day. Even worse, some do not have a home to go to anymore because of the destruction that Ivan inflicted.

Having a hurricane like Ivan hit home literally, is a grim reminder of the reality of these kinds of disasters. Too many times watching aerial photos on CNN or the Weather Channel fails to convey just how real and devastating these storms can be to real people.

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For us, the damage was mostly cosmetic, but it also provided a reminder on just how dependent we have become on modern conveniences.

We have grown so accustomed to waking up in the morning to an electronic alarm clock, turning on a light switch, turning the television on one’s favorite morning show, cooking an early morning pot of coffee and so on. The fact is our generation doesn’t have a clue on how to manage without the electricity.

Food is difficult to cook unless there is gas powered ovens or grills. Keeping the items in the freezer is useless when the electricity is off.

Children do not understand why it won’t work. Their innocent minds only know of the environment that they have been in and when there is change it is difficult to handle. Senior citizens as well have difficulty in dealing with power outages due to their health and the need avoid extreme heat.

But if you were to compare West Alabama with some of our neighbors to the south, there really is no comparison. Homes were literally picked off the ground by the tremendous winds and the current of water that flooded the coast for miles overwhelmed some. How can we complain about not having electricity when others are without homes?

Even though our damage wasn’t as severe, our workers have answered the bell as well as any.

The work of our local officials, city and county employees and the droves of private individuals who just volunteered to help prove that we can help our neighbors.

Everyone should in some way take this lesson and vow to help at least one person. If half the community made that vow to stretch an open hand and helping hand then the whole community would prosper.

Thanks go out to the EMA, American Red Cross and many other organizations for being the example, the bright and shining star for us to follow.