Mon, Feb. 17

Editorial: Texas tragedy an opportunity for America to stand tall

With every tragedy comes opportunity and the wrath ravaged upon South Texas this past weekend could be the very thing America needs most.

America has a way of rising to the occasion like no other country in the world during life’s worst moments. We saw it during Katrina in 2005. We certainly saw it during the nightmare that was 9-11.

The situation with Hurricane Harvey certainly has the ingredients of being one of those moments. Adjectives such as catastrophic and life-threatening were freely used as the Category 4 hurricane arrived on the Texas Gulf Coast late Friday. The situation was deemed so treacherous that emergency responders were advised to sit and wait this one out. People were advised to write their Social Security numbers on their arms should they not survive the initial onslaught.

Its tragedies such as these that Americans suddenly realize what’s important, and more importantly, what is not.

It’s not whether you are a Republican or Democrat.

Liberal or conservative.

Pro- or anti-Trump.

Passionate about your political beliefs, or just plain ugly in how you express them.

But, rather, simply an American who will do anything and everything in our power to help those whose homes, jobs and very lives have been threatened by something over which they have no control.

It’s a time when Americans freely share their financial resources and step up as volunteers for such organizations as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army or Catholic Charities USA. During post-Katrina, we saw local church groups in the Verde Valley send construction crews to New Orleans to help people rebuild their homes. Something so simple as giving blood right now could be the difference between life and death for those in South Texas.

All the labels and political ideologies that have so divided this country over the past year suddenly do not have much meaning or importance.

The one label that counts right now is that we are Americans.

And we are at our very best during life’s worst moments.

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