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Storm brought out true American spirit

November 4, 2012
By CRAIG HOWELL , Weirton Daily Times

This past week, as I was sitting at home relaxing with my cell phone turned off and seldom checking anything online, I often would look out my window and see the constant rainfall our area was experiencing. As the sun finally came out Friday morning, I knew it was over for us, but also knew we were among the very fortunate following the "superstorm" known as Sandy.

I'm sure many of us have been watching the news coverage over the last several days, with national stories comprised primarily of stories from the presidential race and the after-effects of the massive hurricane which struck the East Coast.

The presidential election, of course, is Tuesday and will determine much of where the nation goes politically for the next four years. That can determine a great deal of things for our future, and is important. If you haven't voted already, and, by now, you should have made up your mind on which candidate you prefer, I encourage you to go to your local polling place on Tuesday and cast your ballot.

However, we must remember once the election is over, there is still a great deal of work ahead of us, and it won't matter who gets picked to be president.

Communities have been destroyed. Millions have been without power. Some have not had access to food, gasoline or other materials which have practically become necessities in this day and age.

The good news is the nation is stepping up and finding ways to help out.

Organizations like the Red Cross and Salvation Army, as they always do in times of need, are doing what they can to provide supplies and other needs to the storm victims. Neighbors are lending a hand to each other. I've watched news segments and seen photos of people who have power sharing with others in their neighborhood, whether it be having others over for dinner while running a generator or sticking an extension cord and power strip out their window to allow people to charge their phones or other devices.

I've seen footage of people with boats helping people get around in those communities which are still flooded.

Others who have ways to do so are literally putting their money where their mouths are, so to speak.

Friday morning, for example, it was announced many of the Disney owned programs will be doing various activities to raise both funds and awareness to benefit the storm victims. "Live with Kelly and Michael," will be holding a telethon as part of those efforts.

MTV, which has been based in New York and has had one of its biggest shows in recent years in Seaside Heights, N.J., also is lending a hand to help with the cleanup along some of the shoreline communities.

Many communities, from New England to the Carolinas and back into West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee, which faced massive amounts of snowfall, are in need of assistance, and I'm sure there is something each of us could do to help out in some way.

There are many stories coming out of these communities, showing the very best of mankind at a time when we absolutely need it.

To me, that's what needs to be focused on right now. That spirit is what will truly guide us into the future. Our nation has a lot of problems, and it may not really matter whether there is a Democrat or a Republican living in the White House for the next four years. There is too much political bickering and one-upsmanship going on in Washington these days to fix anything.

Our nation will thrive because, at the end of the day, when things get difficult, we band together. It's sad such a massive disaster has to take place to once again show us what the American spirit looks like. Hopefully, the folks who are supposed to be making the decisions and leading us remember this time and see what being an American really is about.

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