Home Commentary Editorial THERE IS SOMETHING EACH OF US CAN DO

THERE IS SOMETHING EACH OF US CAN DO

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There is a hole inside every American today. A hole that may never be completely filled. A hole that if you had to put image to it must look like the hole in the skyline of New York City.
As Virgin Islanders we have felt this before, not to the degree and not to the magnitude of the horror our country faced this week.
But we know what it is like to awaken to a completely changed landscape. We know what is it like to not be able to stop crying over the sheer helplessness of seeing the devastation. We know the feeling that life may never be the same again. We know the pride in watching the people around us rise to the challenge of selflessly assisting one another.
We live in a community much like that of Washington and New York; a truly multi-cultural community, all races, creeds, colors and economic strata.
Many of us are originally from Washington or New York. Many of us, born here, have relocated to those cities. Many of us are torn apart because—not unlike those stuck helplessly on the mainland during our major hurricanes, unable to help, unable to mourn with family and friends—we are stuck here, unable to even send blood, food or aid.
To paraphrase our friend Leonard Pitts from a Miami Herald column that has been circulating on the Internet: we can also be petty and disagreeable. We experience our own prejudice and hatred, but we are basically loving, faithful people who live in relative harmony despite our incredible diversity.
After Hurricanes Hugo and Marilyn many of us displayed the symptoms of the walking wounded. Looking at the man or woman next to you, you didn't know what their personal experience might have been.
As we walk among each other we must remember we don't know what the next person has been through, is going through.
Much of it is anger. And when there is no face, no country, no person to direct that anger toward, the results can be devastating. It is also fear and suspicion for many. We need to diffuse that anger, fear and suspicion.
We have heard our national leaders call upon God to help us. God is among us, speaks through us and listens through us.
Everyone has a story to tell today, a story about what they feel. Listening to them will begin to fill the hole. It is the one thing we all can do to give aid.

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