The American people’s triumph over tragedy

By: RYAN YOUNG

Disaster just cannot seem to go away with the recent hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria, horrible earthquakes in Mexico, the fires in California, the Las Vegas Massacre and most recently the horrible church shooting in Texas. Though these disasters have caused people to suffer, it has also brought people together in unification.

Many Americans and people worldwide have sacrificed their time, talent and treasure to help rebuild communities that have been devastated by natural disasters and crippled by terrorist attacks.

To date, more than $300 million has been donated to the Red Cross for hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Many other organizations have been a viable place for donations such as United Way and Samaritan’s Purse.

Celebrities have donated to multiple organizations and have started their own funds to help with relief efforts, including actor Kevin Hart, who challenged other celebrities via social media to donate to the relief efforts, and Houston Texans linebacker J.J. Watt, who started a campaign also through social media that raised $27 million. These charitable acts are true signs of Americanism.

Among the celebrities that donated money to the relief were actors Leonardo DiCaprio, who donated $1 million to the United Way Harvey Recovery Fund; Sandra Bullock, who donated $1 million to the Red Cross; and Arnold Schwarzenegger who donated $100,000 to Watt’s campaign. These celebrities with very different points of views are coming together.

We should all follow what these celebrities have done and help out in any way we can, whether that means spending time rebuilding communities, giving money, donating blood or even being kind to the families that are going through a hard time.

Not only have celebrities contributed in this time of despair, but also churches nationwide from big to small have helped to rebuild communities. In Houston alone, hundreds of volunteers from multiple churches, including Christ the Redeemer Church with more than 800 volunteers, donate and help clean homes destroyed by Hurricane Harvey.

Also, major companies across the country have donated their materials and money for relief, including Wal-Mart, Bank of America, Home Depot, Starbucks and PetSmart.

After a tragedy, people can feel isolated, depressed and angered, but it is important for everyone to come together and show love to the people who lost so much. These celebrities and companies in many cases do not agree on a number of things yet they are able to get past their differences and come together.

Locally on the Carmel High School campus many teachers have started funds to help with relief, as well as in the school’s library which hosted a Donkey Kong game to raise money. After the horrible mass murder in Las Vegas many people were able to donate blood and give money to help those who were hurt or provide comfort to the relatives that lost a loved one. Most recently people have come together to rebuild the communities that have been devastated by the fires that have spread across California, which have left families without homes and people separated from loved ones.

Now it is time for all Americans to come together and bring comfort to the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas.
In a time when people are so divisive and alienating, these disasters have brought back what Americanism really is. People have responded from all walks of life, regardless of race, religion or political persuasion. Neighbors are helping neighbors, organizers and workers are using their talents, and people from everywhere are sending in their treasure.

President Donald Trump gave a speech in which he called for unity: “In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one—and it always has. We call upon the bonds that unite us—our faith, our family, and our shared values. We call upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community, and the comfort of our common humanity.”

It is time for all Americans to get past the things that separate us and instead back to showing love for our country and the great people that live in it and help to make it prosper and grow.

With all the tragic events that keep taking place in our communities, it may seem hard to find anything positive to look to, but the unity that has been taking place in the last couple of months has reminded me this is what Americanism truly is.