I can’t really say that Friday night’s tornado in Greensburg, Kansas affected me personally. I don’t know anyone who lives in that town, and I would imagine that I don’t even know anyone three degrees removed from the disaster.
But last summer, I drove through Greensburg. I remember it vividly. My friend and I were in the midst of a road trip across Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado. We could have stopped for gas in Greensburg – we were overdue and barely made it to Dodge City. We saw the signs for miles around pointing to the main attractions in town: the “World’s Largest Hand-Dug Well” and the “World’s Largest Pallasite metorite” As we drove down U.S. 54, we saw the stunning – and somewhat out-of-place – Victorian architecture of the homes lining the streets. We should have stopped to see it while we still could, because this is what’s left of Greensburg:
It’s hard enough losing a piece of personal property in a storm. It’s even harder losing an entire home. But I cannot fathom what it’s like to lose your entire town. We can’t imagine – or don’t want to imagine – this scale of destruction if it ever happened in New York City. Greensburg was a town 1,500 residents strong. For we New Yorkers, who are so proud to live in this city of eight million, we forget that small town middle-America can be just as proud of where they’re from. And they can be just as heartbroken when a disaster takes away the things that define where they’re from and who they are.
So please, if you can, help Greensburg by donating to the Midway-Kansas Chapter of the American Red Cross.
And sorry if I made you cry, but sometimes I have to use my blog for good, not just evil.