I personally cannot remember such a tragedy within our state as the hundreds of buildings, thousands of acres, and untold amount of devastation that has recently taken place as a result of the Sevier County area wild fires. While there is still much speculation and uncertainly, we continue to hope for the best for our fellow Tennesseans.
I have been moved by the outpouring of neighbors who have sent supplies, food, water, and hope to the panic stricken victims as they try to regroup and start the process of how to rebuild. Stories are coming out about bravery, and risk, and how in the time of need, this community stands united.
We thank all the volunteer and professional rescue organizations that immediately jumped into action to minimize the impact of the damage. Their efforts will always be remembered.
Tennesseans are resilient, and Sevier County is no exception. These homes, businesses, attractions, hotels, will all, in time, be rebuilt. But the heart of the people involved, shall leave a mark forever. We will continue to pray for the ones left homeless, who are injured, or have not located their pets and family members. Day by day, week by week, we hope their lives will come back to normal.
In addition, we learned today of widespread damage in the Polk County area due to a tornado. We certainly wish for the best as they start to recover.
As your TSEA Board of Directors meets this Friday, I will be asking them to join me in a moment of silence for all the Tennesseans whose lives have recently been impacted during the recent events.
As the holiday season is quickly approaching, please remember that charity begins at home, give generously, and enjoy time with your families every chance you get. You may never know how your moment of kindness may impact someone else.
Thanks for all you do serving the Great State of Tennessee.
photo credit: Bruce McCamish Photography