By Ann Liguori
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This column celebrates the way Americans pull together in the face of crisis, damage and loss, and thanks those of you who, whether you do it for a living or volunteer, help those in need.
As megastorm Sandy caused record damage, destruction and loss in many states, let me first say that my prayers are with those who suffered the loss of loved ones. No words can heal. But know that thousands of people keep you in our prayers and thoughts in times like these.
After such a harrowing ordeal, I’m compelled to write about the compassion and support of Americans and the way our country responds in times of crisis.
The leadership, from N.J. Gov. Chris Christie and N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and town officials throughout the Tri-State area, was exemplary, based on what I saw and heard on the airwaves prior to the storm, during, and now in its aftermath as crews and rescue teams work tirelessly.
Based on how our leaders responded to the threat of the superstorm, I honestly felt safer. Their advice was spot on: from areas that required mandatory evacuation, their strong advice to stay off the roads and in your homes, to stocking up — days ago — on essentials to get us through the loss of power.
I commend these officials who stepped up and were the leaders they needed to be. I’m also grateful to all the workers – from emergency workers, the National Guard, firefighters, police and electrical workers to the transportation and reconstruction crews, weather experts and the thousands of volunteers who are dedicated to helping others. So many put others before themselves and their families — and that is so commendable.
Never have I seen flooding in lower Manhattan like this. From the water that flooded the subways and tunnels to the water that filled the construction basin at the World Trade Center to the devastation in low-lying coastal areas and beyond, this storm was mean. The winds were relentless. Thank goodness there wasn’t as much rain as was predicted or even more trees could have been uprooted and more power lines down.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how important radio stations are in times like this. After 9/11, WFAN devoted almost all of its programming for over a week to the tragedy. I remember dedicating my late night show on Friday to the subject and talking to firefighters, police officers, volunteers, those who lost loved ones, who shared their stories, sadness, fears and concerns on the air. The station helped bring people together during such a horrible time.
So here’s a shout out and a big “thank you” to all of you who lead and give of yourselves during times like this — when we need you the most!
Feel free to add your own “thank you” in the comments below…