Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Government Rebuilds Galveston Seawall

At least, that's what you discover if you read this very short article, and didn't read the comments. The comments tell a different story.

I'll be the first to say that the repair of the Galveston seawall is both a good thing and how government is supposed to work. The Army Corps of Engineers spends $18M of taxpayer money to rebuild a damaged piece of infrastructure to protect U.S. citizens, commerce and property. This takes less than a year and a half. Well done.

I didn't hear anyone complain about spending federal money to fix things in Galveston. There was no national talk of bulldozing the place or denying Galvestonians the right to return. The good people of Galveston were subjected to disaster, and the American government responded as she always responds when hurricanes hit Florida, Texas or the Carolinas - without complaint. Roll up your sleeves, we can't leave our citizens out in the cold.

That is something I have always loved about this great nation into which I was born. That is one of the traits that makes America exceptional.

This is because the history of America is steeped in the "can do" attitude. We make things happen. We git r done. The American people demand this from their government because that which can happen to one of us can happen to any of us. Earthquakes in California, tornadoes on the plains, flooding in the Midwest, blizzards in the North East. E pluribus unum. Out of many, we are one.

And the American people are always donating money, time and effort to help with the rebuilding of any place where disaster strikes - without complaint.

To that end, we also demand the American government do its part when disaster strikes, because sometimes disasters are bigger than any one locality or state can handle on their own. To this, we demand our American government respond in kind and to do so quickly and effectively. Without complaint.

Except that one time.

Only one time in my years have I ever heard any debate about how my homeland responds to disaster against its own citizens. Once.

The comments section of this very short article serve as a reminder of what that one debate sounded like.

But we will get past it. Real history will be written and values shaped by the millions of volunteers, family, friends, residents and government agencies that, in spite of scale or talk or orders, responded to that one event in the thorougly American tradition: of rolling up sleeves and getting to work.


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