The Mountain Times

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Recollections on Ludlow, Irene, and the generosity of the human spirit

At a time when most of us are more than tired of the political harangues that seem to be the "law of the land," it is almost comforting to look back on the shock and devastation of Irene and realize what Vermonters displayed in terms of compassion and fortitude. In Ludlow, as well as half of the rest of the state, Irene left behind a legacy of lost homes, disabled businesses, people injured both physically and mentally, disconnected transportation, and, saddest of all, loss of life.

It was a situation that so easily could have evolved into a state of chaos and utter despair.

Yet, that was not to be the tone Vermonters would adopt in the aftermath of Irene. They simply decided that there was much work to done and did it. Both private individuals, organizations and state and local government acted in concert to repair that which was repairable and rebuild that which required total reconstruction.

The process was long, tedious, and often unpleasant. But we recognized that it had to be done and we did it.

There are still those suffering the consequences of Irene; it is doubtful that the memory of Irene will be lost very quickly.
But of this I feel absolutely certain: As horrendous and damaging an event as Irene was, it was still the finest example of one human being helping another that I have ever witnessed.

Irene, as an event, is not something to be proud of; yet it is with great pride that I remember the generosity and humanity of Vermonters in responding to this disaster.  This is not simply a pride limited to Ludlow. It extents to all those who worked and contributed to the recovery effort in the state, the nation, and the world.

Tagged: hurricane irene, Reflections, ludlow