‘When the going gets tough, the tough start cooking’When Cloquet native Bob Nelson looked up into the skies above the flood-ravaged Red River Valley of Fargo, N.D., last Thursday, he spotted an American eagle circling overhead.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
When Cloquet native Bob Nelson looked up into the skies above the flood-ravaged Red River Valley of Fargo, N.D., last Thursday, he spotted an American eagle circling overhead.
It was not all that unusual in and of itself, but Nelson was nonetheless immeasurably moved by the sight of it.
That’s because what he was feeling inside as he helped fill hundreds of sandbags to help save the surrounding neighborhood was a stirring of pride at being a part of so noble an effort.
For Nelson and the hundreds of volunteers laboring alongside him, working together in the face of a natural disaster said more about patriotism than much of what’s been happening around us lately in the face of these embattled economic times.
It’s becoming increasingly tough to remind ourselves of the wave of excitement and optimism many of us experienced surrounding the recent Presidential election as more and more jobs are lost, houses are foreclosed upon, businesses are closing their doors and the faces of graft and greed are exposed on an increasingly frequent basis.
But what both Nelson and local volunteer firefighters who also traveled to help out in the flood zone all remarked upon was the sense of pride in working together toward a common goal – stemming the tide of the rising river – and the tremendous resiliency of those residents they were helping. They all commented as well on the outpouring of generosity and hospitality of the people who took them into their homes, fed them and thanked them many times over.
“It’s a case of, ‘When the going gets tough, the tough start cooking!’” grinned Nelson.
Nelson also visited with a flood volunteer who was a biology engineer from India studying at North Dakota State University who commented, “You would never see anything like this in India, where people come out in such large numbers to help each other.”
It’s too bad that it takes a flood to put things back into perspective.