Matt\’s Cuppa

My take on tea, technology, and our environment

Thoughts on the Aftermath of the 35W Collapse: Thank You

Posted by telecommatt on August 4, 2007

On the evening of August 1st, while rescue operations were still underway for those involved in the I-35 Bridge Collapse, I put up two posts on my blog asking you to keep in your thoughts and prayers everyone who was involved in this awful accident. That evening, this site was visited by many, many people. That night and the following day I also received calls and emails, some from people that I’d never met, making sure that I was safe and expressing their concern for others.

First off, I want to say that I’m extremely thankful that the number of dead, injured, and missing are as low as they are. This could have been much, much worse. I want to say how proud I am that we were able to pull together so quickly here. No one be prepared for something like this. If the people involved had not worked so hard and so selflessly, things would indeed have been much worse. I also want to thank the people everywhere else who shared our horror as well as our concern for the victims and their families. It wasn’t just America that watched this unfold. I received email from people across the globe as well. It was quite humbling, and I have a belief that intentions can have an effect on the results. I believe that without the intentions of people around the world, that we would have heavier hearts today. Thank you, everyone, for granting my request and keeping those people in your thoughts and prayers.

When this tragedy struck, the response was nearly instantaneous. People were there helping others out of cars and up onto shore. Three different hospitals were in communication during rescue efforts. People were there to support the rescue workers, offering meals, transportation, and communication. People were on hand to assist the families of those involved. From everywhere else, support and concern flowed in. On Thursday evening, I heard a local Red Cross representative speak. She said that so many people had wanted to donate blood that night that they ended up turning people away or scheduling them to come back in a week or a month.

I’ve been thinking about this for the past few days. What if it didn’t take a tragedy for us to pull together like this? What if it was normal? How would things be different if our support and concern were there in good times too, and not just bad times? Isn’t that what love and compassion are all about? I think that is the lesson I will take away from this awful thing. I will take that feeling of, “Oh God, I hope that so-and-so is okay! I wonder if there is anything that they need?” and try to bring that into my normal everyday living. On August 1st, I heard compassion in the words of people, some of whom I didn’t even know. Can we still be compassionate tomorrow? Or next week, or next year? Would it hurt to try?

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