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For Sandy’s Responders, Saying Thanks Isn’t Enough

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On the night Hurricane Sandy made devastating landfall, I huddled in my north Brooklyn apartment with a police scanner tuned to the Fire Department’s dispatch channel, which broadcast harrowing tales from around the five boroughs: live electrical wires whipping around in the wind, backup power failing at hospitals and flooding in basements and subway tunnels.

For Sandy’s Responders, Saying Thanks Isn’t Enough

By Ari Paul
November 18, 2012
Issue # 181
The Indypendent

On the night Hurricane Sandy made devastating landfall, I huddled in my north Brooklyn apartment with a police scanner tuned to the Fire Department’s dispatch channel, which broadcast harrowing tales from around the five boroughs: live electrical wires whipping around in the wind, backup power failing at hospitals and flooding in basements and subway tunnels.

I was safe at home, but workers of all stripes risked their lives that night to mitigate the disaster — and the night of the storm was only the beginning. I

n the weeks since Sandy, we’ve heard plenty of paeans to the first responders in the media, from politicians and individuals — all of which are well deserved.

But it really isn’t enough to praise the bravery of the firefighters, sanitation workers, utility workers, transit workers and others who braved the elements to save lives and are still struggling to make the city normal again. And it isn’t enough to recognize that grocery stores remained stocked and restaurants remained open because of workers (many of them immigrants, many undocumented) who made their deliveries in dangerous conditions.

We have to give these acts of bravery actual, material value.

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