President reminds nation of heroes walking among us
At a memorial service in Missouri on Sunday, President Barack Obama promised Joplin residents exactly what they hoped to hear: A firm federal commitment to help “until Joplin is restored and this community back on its feet. We’re not going anywhere.”
It’s a promise he made in Tuscaloosa a month earlier, and one he stressed was “America’s promise,” not just his.
After walking the streets blown to bits by an E-5 tornado a week earlier, Obama lifted spirits by reminding the nation and the world that heroes walk among us daily, often unrecognized until the moment they choose to selflessly step into the role of saving others. Many stories of individual heroism emerged in the aftermath of the devastating Missouri tornado and Obama cited three to make his point. In the wake of overwhelming grief and hardship, it was a welcome uplifting message.
As the president said, differences that divide can be overcome and petty grievances can be put aside.
Would that it could happen in politics, and not just after natural disasters, imagine what a different political environment might emerge.
The countless acts of kindness and selfless generosity already evident bode well for Joplin’s future. But no one imagines it won’t take years for a new Joplin to appear and progress will be painfully slow for many.