Bob Dylan

     What is the responsibility that we have when there is a major disaster?  Do we quickly go to a government manual or government guidelines to tell us what we should be doing?  Of course not, it is not the governments job to tell us what we should feel and how we should act.  Under our form of government it is ‘We The People’ that is supposed to tell the government what values we share as a people.

      What we feel is ‘responsible’ is impressed on our values and conscience from several things.  Mostly our values are instilled by our faith.  Then the example that our parents and grandparents set for us.  Then also the example of people that we look up to as a mentor or example of who and what we would like to be.

     When a disaster happens it is the first impulse by most people to do something that is within our power to assist or affect the outcome of what has happened.  In our rural communities it is the able bodied that are the ones who step up to be the first responders and be the ones who offer immediate aid and relief to those in need.  By and large our firefighters drop whatever they are doing to go to the scene and do what they can to stop the disaster and effect an immediate relief.  For many it is a tremendous cost both financially, physically, and emotionally.  It is only in the recent age that the affects of long term health have been identified.

      If you think that there is stress in the initial response to an emergency it is nothing compared to the long term hazard of dealing with tragic situations over a long term period.

      What happened since the Anderson Creek Fire and now the Starbuck and other tragic fires is to bring the best from people over a wide area and none of it has anything to do with politics.  This comes from a sense of responsibility for our fellow man, the livestock, and wildlife.

      It is a testament to the spirit of our country to witness the convoys of hay, fencing, supplies, and people coming to help after the big disaster.  The response of so many agencies and departments from all over the country to get the fires under control is something that make you proud.  This is America at its best.  What is a shame is that other parts of the country have very little idea of what happened because the media assigns more value to investigate rumors and accusations rather than do what is their job.

      There is no R, D, L, or I behind the names of those who have lost so much and those who step up and take responsibility for their fellow man literally.  We don’t need a government to tell us what we feel and to take action to help fix something that is not right.  It is the freedom to follow your conscience which makes this country great.  And to those who would subvert what values we hold we hold in contempt.

      So what is our responsibility right now?  In part four I will discuss the idea that I have and see if there are others who feel the same need.

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