Wednesday, April 30, 2008

More Thoughts On the Early Show Series


I wish I could adequately describe the range of emotions I am feeling this week, watching the CBS Early Show series on Greensburg, KS. I feel like I'm on an emotional roller coaster.

I'm excited when I see a familiar face.

I'm heartbroken when they show large, overhead shots of the town, since there isn't much there now.

I'm overwhelmed with joy when I see the generosity of people who have donated toys, library books, playground equipment, basketballs, t-shirts, musical instruments, time, and money to the people of that town and community.

I am filled with such pride when I hear the stories of how people are continuing to rebuild--people who never said, "the country owes us," but are so thankful for any help they receive. People who would have rebuilt without any assistance, as they helped their friends and neighbors recover. But the same people who are amazed at all the ways people all over the nation--and yes, even from other countries--have reached out to assist them in any way possible.

I'm sad that the town few people knew about before May 4, 2007, is now well-known because it was destroyed by a horrendous tornado.

But I feel that the crew from the Early Show, as well as all the other news people who have been there in the past year, are going to discover what all of us have always known: Greensburg isn't great because of the Big Well, the businesses that were there, or even the beauty of the Kansas plains. Greensburg is great because of the people. I grew up on a farm near Greensburg. I've known this all my life! I'm grateful that the country is now getting to see it, too.

I know there is only so much a one-week series can show. I wish they could recognize every volunteer who has come to help clean up or rebuild. I wish they could show the face of every emergency worker who showed up the night of the tornado. I wish they could show the National Guard soldiers who came in to protect the people and what was left of their belongings. Or each of the law enforcement officials from surrounding towns that helped to keep things orderly. Or a list of the hundreds of organizations and individuals who have donated so many resources. Or the faces of the local city and county workers who worked in incredible conditions (and continue to do so) to try to get things back on track. (Among whom are my sister, niece, and brother-in-law.)

If you want more information on the series, or ways you can help, click on "Early Show" above, and it will take you to the CBS website. Or click on one of my sidebar links.

God bless.

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