Sunday, November 25, 2018

After the Fires

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
The destruction left in the wake of California's November wildfires is mind-numbing in its enormity. Both Northern and Southern California face massive rebuilding efforts. But the town of Paradise in the Chico area, destroyed by the Camp Fire, faces especially daunting, discouraging challenges--it has been essentially obliterated by the flames.

How does a community go about rebuilding in the face of such vast devastation? I'm reminded of the old saying about how to eat an elephant: one bite at a time. But even going one step at a time, the cleanup, recovery, and rebuilding of Paradise will take years. Our northern neighbors will literally begin at the ground, sweeping away ashes and beginning again. It takes courage, faith, determination--and a great deal of financial support and resources--to undertake such an overwhelming task. 

This week was Thanksgiving, a uniquely American holiday dedicated to being grateful for our many blessings. It's a good time to remember our neighbors who have lost loved ones, homes and all their possessions. The Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, and many religious charities are among the many organizations assisting the fire victims in their time of need. All safe-and-sound Americans would do well to pause and make a donation, however modest, now that the fires have been extinguished and life begins to move on with its customary swiftness.