Saturday, September 03, 2005

The military response: rescuers

This morning I watched some cable television coverage of the rescue efforts now finally underway in the Gulf. It's a wonderful and long-awaited sight: the helicopters swooping down to fill up with people and carry them to relative safety, the elderly and frail being pushed in their wheelchairs by the young and strong, a tiny girl carried on the shoulders of large man in uniform.

Geraldo Rivera--not ordinarily my favorite--was very good at conveying the emotion of gratefulness to the military. He was positively gushing, and rightly so. Listening to him, I thought of this post of a few days ago, and its discussion about perceptions of the military as rescuers and protectors.

Today in New Orleans and the rest of the devastated area, we see that rescue function in its full and pure form. It's a stupendous sight to see, and a clear demonstration of why rescue efforts are called "relief." I can only imagine the emotions those suffering people who have been in the overburdened and undersupplied stadiums for so long feel at the sight of those uniforms and those helicopters. Relief, indeed!


At 6:28 PM, September 03, 2005, Blogger David Foster said...

It's been suggested that Goodyear send one or more of their blimps to hover over NO and serve as a message center (using their illuminated signs). Goodyears is understandably reluctant to do this because of (a) logistical concerns, and (b) fear of getting shot at. I think Pres Bush should call the Chairman of Goodyear and ask him to do this (using volunteer crews, obviously). Having one of these airships there on a continuing basis would be a powerful psychological symbol and would really help morale.

During WWII, blimps were used for convoy escort, and I've read that they were very effective in suppressing U-boat attacks. Here's a chance for this old technology to make another major contribution to the nation.


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