Four years to this past Sunday, terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and western Pennsylvania, killing more than 3,000 people. Two weeks ago, hundreds of people died as Hurricane Katrina smashed into the Gulf Coast, drenching several states and destroying millions of dollars in public and private property.
The tragedies are not similar. One was the premeditated attack of murderers, and the other was a natural disaster. What happened in the aftermath of both, however, is similar.
People donated blood. Others donated money to relief funds. In general, people cared – they helped others who had lost belongings and loved ones.
As of yesterday, a Web site linked to the Google search engine reported that more than $12 million has been collected for the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund.
In addition, members of the National Guard have been deployed to the South to help clean up and rebuild, and food, clothing and other materials have been gathered for hurricane victims by many, including Kent State students.
In 2005, when crime is common and problems are prevalent, it is refreshing to see human beings working together to help one another. Despite people’s beliefs about the potential impact global warming has had on hurricane season or about the length of time it took to initiate the relief effort, liberals and conservatives, blacks and whites, the young and the old are joining together with the intent to help fellow Americans. This, in itself, is beautiful.
Here at Kent State, there is a group of students that has transported supplies to the South to provide necessities to southerners who had their belongings taken by floods and winds. In addition, the university is welcoming students from the South to continue their education here – at no charge.
And, as if it wasn’t heart-warming enough that people care about people who have been displaced and hurt by the hurricane, there are volunteers in the South right now, searching for and saving animals stranded in the flooded areas of Louisiana and Mississippi. On Sunday, the first major airlift of dogs left Louisiana, carrying about 80 pets to new temporary homes in California, according to the Associated Press. It is good to see humans helping those with fur and four legs, too.
Many lament situations like the current one, declaring it unfortunate that it takes tragedies to motivate people to lend a helping hand. Cynics bet on how long the aid will continue before people forget.
Humans are human. They get caught up in their own lives, working, attending classes and caring for families. They don’t always think to give blood to the Red Cross until it is made clear that there are blood shortages. They may not donate their hard-earned money to charities until large disasters occur.
It is important to give as much as you can when you can, regardless of terrorist attacks and natural disasters. However, because people may not give as much money to hurricane victims next month as they did this month does not negate the donations they have given. No matter what donations do not happen tomorrow, the overwhelming efforts to relieve and aid those in the South today remain honorable.
The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.