Thursday, April 19, 2012

The giving spirit that came to be known as the Oklahoma Standard

17 years ago many lives were changed. Every year on this date people talk about where they were and how loud the explosion was and whether they knew any of the victims.

Well, that's not my focus today. I'm here to talk about what people GAVE, not what they saw or heard. I gave my time night and weekends as a radio operator for the Salvation Army but that's not what I want to spotlight. The first few nights I was assigned to a medical tent just east of the Murrah Building. Here I alternately marveled at the giving spirit of Oklahomans and listened to out-of-state rescuers marveling at the giving spirit of Oklahomans.

A firefighter from another state flew here on his own and didn't have anyone to meet him. An airline agent who found out why he was here offered her car and home for him to use while here.

A policeman from New York said he planned to come back later to look for a wife because of the compassion and friendship we showed.

My first or second night I relayed a request for sweats for rescuers to wear under their clothes because it was getting cold. Somebody had dropped a box off at the state emergency management office and it was in my hands within the hour.

A request for flashlight batteries brought cases upon cases of batteries. If you asked for food you got enough to feed a thousand hungry teenagers.

I answered the phone at the Salvation Army one day and it was Fedex wanting to know where to bring a box of hardhats sent from California.

You see, once the rest of the country saw what we were doing they joined in too. Any need was soon met, including prayer. Even without access to the news I could feel the spirit of the country. We knew that we had a very large support team behind us.

That's all I have to say and it's not for recognition of myself. I'm just proud to have been PART of something so wonderful.

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