September 06, 2005

Our Heroes: Both Great and Small


As everyone would agree, this week has been a trying one, especially for our fellow citizens down in the gulf region.  The ladies of the Cotillion have truly highlighted much about Hurricane Katrina, from the moment she made landfall through thousands and thousands of rescues, volunteer workers and charitable dollars raised.  What is evident throughout this tragedy is the strength of the heroes both great and small - the rescuers, the volunteers, the survivors.  Those who have given everything they can to help.  Those who have opened up their hearts and their wallets to support the rescue and recovery efforts.  Join me, and my fellow hostesses annika's journal, Girl on the Right and Not a Desperate Housewife as we highlight a rather challenging week for America.


Jody at Steal the Bandwagon shares an outstanding roundup of charities the Cotillion ladies recommend, along with some thoughts about the disaster and the rescue efforts.  Jody also reminds everyone that Katrina couldn't possibly be a member of the Cotillion - she was simply too mean.

Over at Who Tends the Fires, Denita has a great list of charities that are collecting for the rescue and recovery efforts from Hurricane Katrina.  Denita also reminds us to "do what we can!"

Mary Katharine Ham at C-Log reminds readers of the role private charity has in large-scale disasters such as the one in the Gulf:

Private charity allows the generosity and ingenuity of Americans to meet the unpredictability of life head-on in a way a staid government program never could.

Charity can work quickly. It can be tailored to the needs of specific victims. It can move in unorthodox ways to fix unprecedented problems. And the results can be astounding.

Zendo Deb at TFS Magnum speaks of consequences and responsibility when it comes to hurricane preparedness:

If people are going to rely on the state for rescue, they then need to obey the orders of that state when told what to do. You can't both have responsibility (not following the orders on your own judgment) and not have responsibility (for facing the consequences of your actions and decisions).   

I have sat watching the news this week and often wondered how different the rescue efforts may have looked had citizens who stayed - even with the ability to evacuate - decided to evacuate.


On the other hand, The Anchoress brings to light others who will likely face the consequences of their inaction.  She speaks about a photo filled with submerged buses that could have been used, in advance of the storm, to evacuate those citizens without the financial means to leave on their own:

Why were school bus drivers, city bus drivers, local truckers, not enlisted to drive these buses around the city, picking people up and taking them out of harm’s way? It’s staggering - just staggering - to contemplate this. This is a profound negligence or incompetence (or both). In a world where people love to look for “root causes” of problems, I think this photo is evidence of one of the “root causes” for the unimaginable experience too many people have just lived through - are still living through.

E.M. at The American Princess pours her frustration into thoughts that have undoubtedly moved through the minds of many:

What do you do to help people, even militarily, when they shoot at Army personnel, threaten them, and refuse to obey their orders. What do you do when people who are in a horrible situation refuse to act like human beings? Is it so much to ask to treat your fellow man with human dignity? The people who are attempting to help are often in the same boat as those who loot and pillage--many of the New Orleans police officers have lost their homes, their families, everything that they have lived for, and yet they are still remaining in the city, trying, often in futility. to control those who cannot control themselves.


Any time America sees a great tragedy, the "blame game" must commence.  Fausta, at The Bad Hair Blog enlightens us with some possible "reasons" this tragedy unfolded.  Germany's environment minister hinted that Americans may be to blame for the hurricane due to "the U.S. refusal to cut greenhouse gases, which many experts say cause global warming."  However, Robert Kennedy, Jr., has another angle - he blames the GOP.

Beth of Yeah, Right, Whatever provides a number of observations following the destruction in the Gulf.  Beth wonders whether everyone has had the opportunity to blame Bush for the events in New Orleans.  She also highlights a question posed in a number of interviews seen on the news networks:

Everyone is turning this into a race thing.  I've heard things like "if it was a predominately white community, everyone would have been taken care of." Yes, there is still racism in this country (there's racism of one kind or another all over the world- unfortunately, that's one of the uglier sides of humanity). But I am offended that people presume that this country doesn't care about the people just because they are black.


Some of the speculation and rumor is simply irresponsible, as Cassandra at Villainous Company shares.  Amidst the thousands of rescue missions, criminals shooting at rescuers, the massive relief efforts, Randall Robinson reports that "black hurricane victims in New Orleans have begun eating corpses to survive. Four days after the storm, thousands of blacks in New Orleans are dying like dogs. No-one has come to help them."  Thanks, Cassandra, for setting the record straight.

Just as the volunteer workers are trying to establish some normalcy for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, Holly of Soldiers' Angel reminds us that life goes on.

...if you need a good laugh or some entertainment this podcast is for you! Program notes...find out what a soldier recently back from Iraq, a soldier injured in Iraq, a radio talk show host, a stay at home mom, flooding and ghostbusters have in common. It's bizarre but true! 

America is filled with every day heroes who never think twice about helping those in need.  Shelter volunteers, employees at companies pooling donations, companies donating goods needed for victims, airlines, cruiselines, hospitals, churches and individual citizens donating to charitable organizations - we will bring comfort and support to the families in the Gulf who need us.  They will give back by rebuilding both their homes and their lives.  Undoubtedly, America will see another tragedy in her future.  But even the youngest have learned what it is like to take care of one another.


Posted by at September 6, 2005 12:53 AM