Sarah’s Snippets 8/25/2015
Katrina. Most of us cannot hear that name without thinking about the devastating hurricane that struck the Gulf Coast, and New Orleans especially. This is the 10th anniversary of that event. Television has begun to show documentaries about that time and the effects it had on the people. These evoke many memories for all of us, but especially for the people who actually lived through it as members of the city of New Orleans.
People there remember the silence, the deadly silence after the storm. People remember the smells, at first of wetness and contamination, then of mold and rot. People remember the confusion as they tried to leave the city. People remember those who refused to leave. People remember feeling abandoned by their government. People remember wondering where their neighbors were and who was safe. People remember the shock of disbelief and loss. People remember numbness.
For those of who lived through Irene and Lee, many of these memories are the same. These are the tough memories, the memories that still bring tears and anxiety to the surface. However, in the Schoharie Valley, these feelings were quickly merged with feelings of determination to recover. These feelings were accompanied by actions that demonstrated the true grit that people here possess. Regardless of the despair, people immediately stepped forward to start the recovery process by responding with energy and generosity. People helped each other, sacrificed for each other and for the greater good. People looked to the future that could be and started working to make that future a reality. In essence the citizenry of Schoharie Valley found the common ground of a shared vision, and common ground is always the basis for positive action.
As we approach the fourth anniversary of Irene, and then Lee, let us all focus on that shared vision, and celebrate the immense progress that we have all witnessed and experienced. This community deserves to “pat itself on the back” for achieving the amazing progress that has happened in the last four years. While we all acknowledge there are still things left to do, a foundation of strength has emerged because of the amazing ongoing efforts of the residents who believe in the vision and are willing to continue fighting for it. I, for one, am extremely grateful.