Following the daily ins and outs of politics can be tiresome and exhausting. It seems as if our political disputes have become less and less substantive, and more and more absurd. For all the talk about how divided this country is, some have wondered if there is any reason for hope.
Then, Hurricane Harvey slammed into Southeastern Texas.
Harvey dumped massive amounts of rain on the Houston area, leading to severe flooding. Images such as this one show I-610 transforming from a freeway to what looks like a series of rivers with misplaced traffic signs. These pictures and videos highlight just how much rain has fallen.
— Dan Bancalari (@DanBancalari) August 27, 2017
The amount of rain and flood damage is so severe that FEMA head Brock Long told CNN’s Jake Tapper that FEMA will be in Houston for years–not months–to help in the recovery.
Obviously, no one wishes this sort of devastation on anyone. Still, in the aftermath of the initial onslaught, various individuals showed us that there is still hope for this country. You just need to look in the right place, and that place is outside of politics.
Dear God some people give me such hope:
REPORTER: What are you going to do?
HERO: I'm gonna save some lives.pic.twitter.com/Qj2nmvCD97
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) August 27, 2017
Take, for example, the man in the above video. He drove his boat down to the Houston area in order to save the lives of people he does not even know. (You will have to believe me when I say it was the onions.) He wasn’t the only one, however. Countless others navigated their boats through the streets to do what they could. Some of these boaters included high schoolers.
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) August 27, 2017
Some who didn’t have boats still found the will to search for stranded individuals.
— Sara Donchey (@KPRC2Sara) August 27, 2017
Of course, there were also the first responders. The words “public service” get thrown around a lot, but it is hard to find a truer definition of service than what we have seen in Texas.
— Patrick Hussion (@PatrickHussion) August 28, 2017
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 27, 2017
However, many stories of these volunteer heroes have ended in tragedy. The story of Houston Police Sergeant Steve Perez is one such story. Perez’s wife urged him not to him not to go. Ever the public servant, Perez replied that, “We’ve got work to do.” While doing that work, Perez unfortunately made a wrong turn, drove into sixteen feet of flood water, and drowned.
There are surely far more people who did extraordinary things in Texas than can be listed here. The first responders and ordinary people made it their mission to help as many strangers as they could. These people make the entire country–left, right, center, or somewhere in between–proud.
— Ellison Barber (@ellisonbarber) August 27, 2017
As President Reagan said in his first inaugural address, “Those who say that we’re in a time when there are not heroes, they just don’t know where to look.”