Helping victims: It’s what Americans do

Time to rebuild lives and homes

The worst is over. Now let’s get on to the best – rebuilding lives and homes.

How many times has it been said that life can change dramatically in a split second?

Or, as recent events indicate, in as long as it takes raging tornadoes to pick and choose their random targets while hop-scotching across a Midwestern prairie with devastated lives in their wake?

Weather forecasters predicted last Sunday would be a dark and stormy day. It turned into that and more as energetic tornadoes spread across parts of Illinois and the Midwest, leaving a trail of destruction.

Locally, Gifford was the hardest hit, but damage was spread across Champaign, Douglas and Vermilion counties.

Elsewhere, the town of Washington, a bedroom community of Peoria, suffered a crushing blow that left many dazed and homeless.

It’s a cliché to say so, but it could have been worse – much worse.

The good news is that people will not only survive but, ultimately, thrive. The human spirit is difficult to extinguish. People don’t know what they can do until they have no choice.

But it’s a painful, frustrating, depressing and difficult process, and storm victims need help from those who were spared.

That help will be gladly given. It’s what we do when tragedy, whatever its form, strikes, and our neighbors are in need.