Tropical storms and hurricanes are a fixture on the east coast and gulf coast of the United States every summer and fall. It's weather roulette that residents play for the pleasure of living near the water. Most of the time you win. But when you lose--you lose big time.
Today while a lot of our citizens celebrate Labor Day in the traditional manner--barbecue and picnics--a little over two million of our citizens are camped in shelters, hotels, and with relatives while they wait out the storm named Gustav. In a massive evacuation, people packed up their families, pets, and most treasured belongings and hit the road.
Usually on Labor Day, we talk about the celebration of the common man, the worker. This is our day. But today, many of those workers will be out there working to keep others safe. In the storm, emergency personnel, military personnel, volunteers, police officers and firemen, meteorologists will all be working overtime for the safety of their fellow citizens. As soon as the storm is past, a platoon of electrical and phone technicians will be moving in, trying to restore services. The day is aptly named. Labor Day.
Let us keep our fellow citizens in our prayers and our thoughts both now and when they go home. For many, there will be heartbreaking futures. Futures both difficult and exhausting. People always voice the thought that as long as lives were not lost they can always rebuild. But most of the time, rebuilding is an overwhelming job. In the rush of the disaster, everyone pitches in to help. Let us not forget afterwards, after the press and media have moved on to the next hot story.
Wherever you are, whoever you are with, I wish you a safe and dry holiday.