In the past months, there have been many devastating events across our country. From natural disasters to acts of mass violence, our country’s resolve is once again being tested. I firmly believe it is the resolve of the American people that brings us through these tough times.
Hurricane Harvey killed more than 70 people, damaged or destroyed approximately 20,000 homes, and displaced tens of thousands of people. Winds topped 130 miles per hour and rains fell at up to four inches per hour. Less than a week later, Hurricane Irma slammed into the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Florida coast, killing more than 70 people. Experts estimate both storms caused more than $200 billion in damage. During these storms, we witnessed the images of neighbors helping neighbors. We heard the stories of Americans driving across the country with their boats to assist with rescues of flooded streets and neighborhoods. We saw Americans reaching out to one another to help, in any way they could.
We have seen the same displays of compassionate care following this weeks’ tragic events in Las Vegas. Amidst the images, we see strangers risking their own lives to help others. We see the courage and selfless actions as concertgoers made makeshift gurneys and piled the injured into passing vehicles, helping them receive vital medical attention. We all send our thoughts and prayers to those who are suffering, right here on American soil.
While each of us wish we lived in a country where these things did not happen, where we did not see our fellow American’s suffer, we can find peace knowing there is help and hope. We are blessed to live in a country that does not have to wait for aid from our allies across the world. We have the ability, supplies and manpower in our own country to start cleaning up following these natural disasters. We have a history of coming together in times of need and as a result, we grow stronger as a nation.
Others have said it before, and I agree, if we truly want to know what America is – and who Americans are – look to how we respond and unite following a tragedy.
As always, I encourage my constituents to contact me throughout the year with comments, questions or suggestions by calling my office at (573) 751-5713. To find more information about the bills I sponsor, visit www.senate.mo.gov/brown. Thank you for reading this and for your participation in state government.