Early in World War II, when Britain’s army was stranded on the coast of France, the Nazis at their heels, the British people mobilized an Armada of small private boats to bring their soldiers home. Braving the choppy English Channel, ordinary people in small fishing boats hauled in a catch of young men, weary from battle. The rescue became a symbol to the people of Britain that they could do it, that they could muster up their courage for the battle ahead.
Today, in Houston and the smaller towns on the Texas/Louisiana border, we see America’s Armada–the Cajun Navy, a flotilla of National Guard, Coast Guard and private boats braving the Harvey-flooded streets of residential neighborhoods to rescue people stranded in their homes. Rowboats, kayaks, swamp boats and fishing boats, they have braved the difficult waters of flooded streets to seek trapped neighbors.
Like the rescue at Dunkirk, this may prove to be a watershed moment for America. We see every day, ordinary people performing heroic acts of bravery to help people they don’t even know. All races, all religions. Citizens, undocumented. Elderly in wheelchairs and walkers, young men in their prime.
Let this inspiring event be our watershed moment and turn our resolve as a nation, the way Dunkirk did for Britain. Let us remember that we are better than ethnic group vs ethnic group, rich vs poor, people who have lived in the U. S. for generations vs the newly arrived. When it comes right down to it, we’re better than that.