Flood Victims - We Haven't Forgotten You
Inspiration was the order of the week spurned on by a visit to Cowtown by Governor General David Johnston. He raised his fist to his heart and said he was inspired by the dedication and kindness and determination of the citizens of Calgary during the Flood of 2013.
The spirit that we displayed when complete strangers unaffected by the flood hopped aboard buses and SUV’s and headed right into the dirty bacteria filled waters of destruction of dismay was amazing.
He also made a trip out to High River where the toll took an even worse turn for residents who might never return to their homes and places of work because they are no longer there.
Recent events like those in Colorado have always been something you see on the news and you wait for the next story after commenting those poor people. Little did we know we would become those people in the summer of 2013.
The lingering effect of the horrendous flood will be felt for years to come as we repair homes, condos, places of business, parks and golf courses.
Still hard to believe that some 60% of High River was under water when the Highwood River overflowed its banks on that fateful day on June 20th. The debris is still piled high waiting to be hauled away along with the memories attached to every personal belonging.
The people of High river with tears rolling down their cheeks thanking heroes like George Canyon and Tom Jackson who single handedly took action to get things moving by donating clothes, getting people washers and dryers at factory cost and making sure everyone was fed and had a place to stay, we salute men like that.
The Governor General praised the people of High River and presented awards both there and here in Calgary with his commendation of outstanding public service to a huge round of applause.
I am very proud of the folks here at The Calgary Sun who had the idea to create a magazine that showed the heroes and how Calgary pulled together then donated all the money back to help flood victims.
I am also so very proud of the Calgary business community who donated over a million dollars that was distributed immediately to those who had nowhere to go.
Calgarians showed tenacity, versatility, ingenuity and empathy and did it when the chips were down.
The Mayor took charge like no other and worked 24-7 till the job was done, fans and critics alike had to agree he did a remarkable job.
I was glad we were able to honor the first responders, Tony Spolitini, Tom Spolitini and Mike Palumbo, called me to see if I would help organize a huge celebration bash for first responders and of course I said count me in.
We threw the party of all parties in the parking lot of Spolumbos and invited all volunteers, EMS, Fire and Police down to honor them on the great job they did.
I got to talk first hand about the amazing challenges with Fire Chief Bruce Burrell who stopped by along with police Chief Rick Hanson two more remarkable men in this whole ordeal.
Served up eggs, barbequed sausages, shook hands, traded stories and half the cities departments filled both the restaurant and parking lot.
Everyone smiled for a change and took a deep breath that we could finally relax.
Calgary you are a remarkable city filled with inspiring people God bless everyone still putting their lives together after this horrible mess. We wont leave you behind.