Courage and Grace in West, Texas

Senator John Cornyn
2013-04-23 10:37:52
THE LONESTAR WEEKLY Senator Cornyn�s E-Newsletter The Lonestar Weekly* **Courage and Grace in West, Texas** Last week, the small town of West, Texas suffered a terrible tragedy when an explosion at a fertilizer storage facility ripped through the community.��Approximately 200 people were wounded, and at least 14 lost their lives. �Among these are many of the volunteer first responders who bravely sacrificed their own lives in order to protect the lives of others. �I traveled to West last Friday to meet with local officials and make sure the community was not wanting of anything in the ongoing relief effort. �The devastation was heart-wrenching and the images of destruction will be with me forever. �Yet I will also carry with me the uplifting scenes of grace and humanity that I witnessed in West. � Make no mistake: the people of West are resilient. �The town traces its roots to the 1840s, as settlers migrated from the east across the young Republic of Texas. �Blessed with fertile soil and fresh spring water, the community grew. �Like many Texas towns, West has thrived through the years because of a citizenry that emphasizes both self-sufficiency and the importance of community. �I can report that these traits are alive and well, and they have been on full display to the world in the wake of last week�s tragedy. Upon feeling the explosion and seeing the mushroom cloud billowing into the sky, people�s immediate concerns were not for themselves, but for others. �We saw this both in the actions of first responders and ordinary citizens, who instinctively ran towards the danger, not away. �Residents could be seen loading their cars with victims and making trip after trip to the hospital. �At the local nursing home, located just a couple of blocks from the site of the explosion, the quick-thinking and heroic disregard for personal safety demonstrated by the staff saved the lives of scores of elderly residents. In the aftermath, businesses stayed open around the clock and neighbors threw open their doors to help support victims. �Restaurants and cafes refused to charge for meals, and people from all over descended on West with food, supplies, and a simple question: �How can I help?� In the face of devastation, the people of West and countless other Texans from the surrounding area have come together in a truly awe-inspiring outpouring of goodwill and community strength. �We are commanded to love our neighbors, and the people of West are showing us how. I know I join all Texans in mourning the tragic loss of life in West. �We pray for comfort to come to the grieving and for healing to come to the wounded. �For those wishing to contribute to the relief effort, I encourage you to visit my website [link 1] for information on ways to help. � I have no doubt that West will recover from this tragedy. �The abundance of love, faith, and selflessness that exists in this town would sustain it through any disaster. �The best of the Texas spirit is embodied by the people of West. �As one resident put it to me, �Being a Texan doesn�t describe where you�re from, it describes who your family is.� � Let us strive to embody these words. �Let us not forget West in her time of need. �And when we find ourselves in our time of need, may we be blessed with the same courage and resolve that this small town has shown the world. News Releases* *April 22: Cornyn Addresses Gang of Eight Immigration Proposal [link 2] April 22: Cornyn Introduces Measure to Bring New Transparency to Obamacare [link 3] April 19: Cornyn Tours West Explosion Site [link 4] April 18: Ways To Help Those Affected By West Plant Explosion [link 5] April 18: Cornyn Addresses West Plant Explosion on the Senate Floor [link 6] April 18: Cornyn: Yesterday Was A Shameful Day [link 7]* *April 18: Senators Cornyn, Cruz Issue Statement on Fertilizer Plant Explosion [link 8]� April 17: Cornyn: 2nd Amendment Not a Take-It-Or-Leave-It Proposition [link 9] April 17: Cornyn Introduces National Conceal-Carry Reciprocity Legislation [link 10]� April 16: Cornyn Addresses Boston Bombings on Senate Floor [link 11] * Social Media* Sen. Cornyn regularly updates his profiles with the latest news and developments from around Texas and Capitol Hill. [image = cornyn.enews.senate.gov/images/twitter.gif] [link 12]� [image = cornyn.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/instagram-logo-icon.jpg] [link 13]�� [image = cornyn.enews.senate.gov/images/facebook.gif] [link 14]� [image = cornyn.enews.senate.gov/images/youtube.gif] [link 15]� [image = cornyn.enews.senate.gov//images/user_images/Flickr.png] [link 16] Texas Times Column* *March 18: Honoring Montford Point Marine Calvin Curtis [link 17] February 28: A Moment Bigger Than The Game [link 18] February 20: Texas Treasure Returns to the Alamo [link 19] February 5: Honoring Members of our Greatest Generation [link 20] January 28: Remembering the Crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia [link 21] December 14: Tales of Christmas Past In Texas [link 22] November 20: A Message of Thanksgiving [link 23] September 14: Cowtown On The Open Seas: Commissioning the USS Fort Worth [link 24] August 29: A Texas Town with an Abundance of Books [link 25] August 10: Back To School On The Texas Frontier [link 26] � �� ���* ���*��*

Courage and Grace in West, Texas

Last week, the small town of West, Texas suffered a terrible tragedy when an explosion at a fertilizer storage facility ripped through the community.  Approximately 200 people were wounded, and at least 14 lost their lives.  Among these are many of the volunteer first responders who bravely sacrificed their own lives in order to protect the lives of others.  I traveled to West last Friday to meet with local officials and make sure the community was not wanting of anything in the ongoing relief effort.  The devastation was heart-wrenching and the images of destruction will be with me forever.  Yet I will also carry with me the uplifting scenes of grace and humanity that I witnessed in West.

 

Make no mistake: the people of West are resilient.  The town traces its roots to the 1840s, as settlers migrated from the east across the young Republic of Texas.  Blessed with fertile soil and fresh spring water, the community grew.  Like many Texas towns, West has thrived through the years because of a citizenry that emphasizes both self-sufficiency and the importance of community.  I can report that these traits are alive and well, and they have been on full display to the world in the wake of last week�s tragedy.

Upon feeling the explosion and seeing the mushroom cloud billowing into the sky, people�s immediate concerns were not for themselves, but for others.  We saw this both in the actions of first responders and ordinary citizens, who instinctively ran towards the danger, not away.  Residents could be seen loading their cars with victims and making trip after trip to the hospital.  At the local nursing home, located just a couple of blocks from the site of the explosion, the quick-thinking and heroic disregard for personal safety demonstrated by the staff saved the lives of scores of elderly residents.

In the aftermath, businesses stayed open around the clock and neighbors threw open their doors to help support victims.  Restaurants and cafes refused to charge for meals, and people from all over descended on West with food, supplies, and a simple question: �How can I help?�

In the face of devastation, the people of West and countless other Texans from the surrounding area have come together in a truly awe-inspiring outpouring of goodwill and community strength.  We are commanded to love our neighbors, and the people of West are showing us how.

I know I join all Texans in mourning the tragic loss of life in West.  We pray for comfort to come to the grieving and for healing to come to the wounded.  For those wishing to contribute to the relief effort, I encourage you to
visit my website
for information on ways to help.

 

I have no doubt that West will recover from this tragedy.  The abundance of love, faith, and selflessness that exists in this town would sustain it through any disaster.  The best of the Texas spirit is embodied by the people of West.  As one resident put it to me, �Being a Texan doesn�t describe where you�re from, it describes who your family is.�

 

Let us strive to embody these words.  Let us not forget West in her time of need.  And when we find ourselves in our time of need, may we be blessed with the same courage and resolve that this small town has shown the world.

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