In times of crisis, the American spirit prevails

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, April 18, 2013

A bombing, dangerous substances on letters, shootings – it’s hard to watch the news without having a horrible pit in your stomach.

But, even with all of the negative, the positive shines through.

During the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I first saw this quote by Mr. (Fred) Rogers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

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Americans are compassionate. We are steadfast in our patriotism, and our innate desire to help comes out even in the worst of situations.

At the bombing this week at the Boston Massacre, people near the explosion who were unharmed ran toward the site of the explosion. Runners kept running to nearby hospitals to donate blood. Boston residents opened their homes to those who couldn’t return to area hotels.

First responders rushed to the scene of the West, Texas fire and explosion on Wednesday night, despite the fact they would be in danger.

Think back to the horrible events on Sept. 11, 2001. Americans flocked to New York to help dig through the rubble in hopes of rescuing their fellow man. Prayers were said, songs were written, memorials were made – all in the name of supporting those who were hurting so much.

Bad things happen. There are bad people in the world. But our spirit cannot be broken.

When I was talking to my mother last night, we were discussing ways she could talk to her second graders about everything scary they see in the news. That’s when a Dr. Seuss story came to mind.

While there are bad people, while there are “grinches,” Americans are like the Whos in Whoville. You can try to squash our hearts, you can take away our belongings, but you can’t take away our faith and spirit. We know what makes us uniquely us, and that is the understanding that when one of us is hurting, the community, or in cases such as Boston, the nation, will be in the wings to help those in need heal.

We are resilient, and as long as we support each other, good will always win.