The Edmond Sun

Opinion

June 3, 2013

Oklahoma Strong: Unbroken in the wake of tragedy

OKLA. CITY — May was a difficult, heart wrenching month for the state of Oklahoma. The lives of at least 40 men, women and children were cut short by tornadoes that ripped through towns and cities. Hundreds were injured, some severely. Almost 4,000 homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed.

In the wake of these terrible storms, we saw suffering and loss. But we also saw something else: An Oklahoma Spirit that would not be broken and would not be defeated.

Resilience. Courage. Compassion. And above all, strength. Those were the defining characteristics of our state and its people at this crucial moment.

It was a time for loss; but it was also a time for hope and for pride in our Oklahoma heroes. First responders rushed to the scene, risking their own safety to pull people out of the wreckage of homes and buildings.

Teachers used their bodies as shields to protect children from falling debris as an EF-5 tornado raged above their schools.

Families took complete strangers into their homes to offer them shelter from the storm, or a warm meal and a place to stay in its aftermath.

Thousands of volunteers from all across Oklahoma and all over the country rushed to affected areas to help with the clean-up effort.

And millions of Americans have donated money, food, clothing and other goods through faith-based or nonprofit organizations to provide relief and aid in recovery.

In the days, weeks and months ahead, the full spectrum of resources from local, state and federal governments will be marshaled to ensure that Oklahomans recover and rebuild.

More than 6,000 Oklahomans have registered for direct assistance from FEMA and more than $4.6 million have already been distributed to many of those individuals.

The Legislature passed and I signed into law a bill directing $45 million to be transferred from the state Rainy Day account to the Emergency Fund, where it can reimburse communities for their response to the storm.

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce soon will begin hiring for up to 1,000 new temporary positions to aid in cleanup and recovery work paid for through a federal grant.

And, of course, organizations like the Red Cross, the United Way and the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma continue to supplement the efforts of the state, offering help and support to those affected by the May tornadoes.

As a result, cities and towns like Moore, Oklahoma City, El Reno, Union City, Shawnee, Bethel Acres, Carney, Newcastle, Little Axe and other affected areas will once again be open for business.

For many Oklahomans, this comes as no surprise. We have faced our share of challenges, even tragedies. We recover and rebuild, and we grow stronger.

But for millions of people around the world, watching on TV and seeing the remarkable strength and resilience of our people for perhaps the first time, the Oklahoma Spirit was nothing short of miraculous.

That is and should be a source of pride for every Oklahoman. Because even in the face of a devastating natural disaster, there was never really any question as to how the people of this great state would respond.

We will unite, we will heal together and we will rebuild. We will do all of these things because we are, and always will be, Oklahoma Strong.

GOV. MARY FALLIN, R-Edmond, can be reached via her website at www.ok.gov/governor/.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Is English getting dissed?

    Is the English language being massacred by the young, the linguistically untidy and anyone who uses the Internet? Absolutely.
    Is that anything new? Hardly.
    Many words and expressions in common parlance today would have raised the hackles of language scolds in the not-so-distant past. For evidence, let’s look at some examples from recent newspaper articles.

    July 31, 2014

  • 'Too big to fail' equals 'too eager to borrow'

    Four years ago this month, President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Act into law, promising that the 848-page financial law would “put a stop to taxpayer bailouts once and for all,” he said. But recently, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren told a Detroit crowd that “the biggest banks are even bigger than they were when they got too big to fail in 2008.”
    Who’s right?

    July 30, 2014

  • Sheltons travel for better life for family

    Some time around 1865 a mixed-race African American couple, William and Mary Shelton, made their way from Mississippi to east Texas. Nothing is known for certain of their origins in he Magnolia state, or the circumstances under which they began their new lives in Texas.

    July 29, 2014

  • Film critic Turan produces book

    Kenneth Turan, who is the film critic for National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” has written a book “Not to be Missed, Fifty-Four Favorites from a Life Time of Film.” His list of movies span the gamut from the beginnings of filmmaking through the present day.
    There are some surprising omissions on his list. While he includes two films, “A Touch of Evil” and Chimes at Midnight” made by Orson Welles, and one, “The Third Man,” that Welles starred in but did not direct. He did not however, include “Citizen Kane,” that was the first movie Welles made, that is  often cited by both film critics and historians as a favorite film.

    July 28, 2014

  • Logan County’s disputed zone

    Watchers of “Star Trek” may recall the episode from the original series entitled, “Day of the Dove.” In this episode, Captain Kirk and his crew are forced by a series of circumstances into a confrontation with the Klingons. The conflict eventually resolves after Kirk realizes that the circumstances have been intentionally designed by an alien force which feeds off negative emotions, especially fear and anger. Kirk and his crew communicate this fact to the Klingons and the conflict subsides. No longer feeding upon confrontation, the alien force is weakened and successfully driven away.

    July 28, 2014

  • Russell leads in Sun poll

    Polling results of an unscientific poll at www.edmondsun.com show that Steve Russell, GOP candidate for the 5th District congressional seat, is in the lead with 57 percent of the vote ahead of the Aug. 26 runoff election. Thirty readers participated in the online poll.

    July 28, 2014

  • Healthier and Wealthier? Not in Oklahoma

    Increased copays, decreased coverage, diminished health care access, reduced provider budgets and increased frustration are all the outcomes of the Legislature’s 2014 health care funding decisions. Unlike some years in the past when a languishing state economy forced legislators into making cuts, the undesirable outcomes this year could easily have been avoided.

    July 26, 2014

  • Medicaid reform a necessity

    Historically, education spending by the state of Oklahoma has been the largest budget item. This is no longer the case. In recent years, the state of Oklahoma spends more on Medicaid (operated by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority) than common education and higher education combined, according to the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

    July 25, 2014

  • Remembering lessons from 1974

    This week marks the 40th anniversary of an important milestone in America’s constitutional history. On July 24, 1974, the Supreme Court voted 8-0 to order the Nixon White House to turn over audiotapes that would prove the president and his close aides were guilty of criminal violations. This ruling established with crystal clarity that the executive branch could not hide behind the shield of executive privilege to protect itself from the consequences of illegal behavior. It was a triumph for the continued vitality of our constitutional form of government.

    July 25, 2014

  • RedBlueAmerica: Is parenting being criminalized in America?

    Debra Harrell was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The South Carolina woman says her daughter had a cell phone in case of danger, and critics say that children once were given the independence to spend a few unsupervised hours in a park.
    Is it a crime to parent “free-range” kids? Does Harrell deserve her problems? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, debate the issue.

    July 24, 2014

Poll

The runoff race for the 5th District congressional seat is set for Aug. 26. If the voting were today, which candidate would you support?

Al McAffrey
Tom Guild
Undecided
     View Results