SUDDENLY, all the talk of late-session wheeling and dealing by Oklahoma legislators doesn't add up to much. The recent spike in gas prices in this area? Washington politics? It's tough to get worked up about those issues today.
Not when the bodies of children could be recovered from their grade school in Moore. Not when so many people are hospitalized, and residents in Moore face the grim task — again — of rebuilding after a massive tornado.
All our everyday “pressing concerns” are exposed as almost trivial after a day like May 20, 2013. We felt the same way after May 3, 1999, when Moore was shredded by a twister. “May Third” became a part of our vocabulary, the standard against which all other storms in these parts were measured. Now May 20 is on the list, and Moore once again the victim.
The devastation of May 3 — about 1,700 houses destroyed and 6,500 damaged in Oklahoma and Cleveland counties — was breathtaking. So too was the show of support, which helped the city recover. The same will happen again. It's happening already, in ways large and small.
Energy companies Chesapeake, Devon, Continental Resources and OGE Energy Corp. have pledged more than $6 million. Chesapeake said it was organizing hundreds of its employees to help tornado victims, and encouraged other local businesses to chip in. They will of course, because they always do when Oklahomans are in need. It's known as The Oklahoma Standard.
Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder said his foundation will send $1 million to the Red Cross for disaster relief. A young man waiting tables Monday evening let his customers know that he would be donating his tips to the efforts in Moore. He tweeted a photo of one tip — two $100 bills and a $20. Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, who grew up in Midwest City, is donating $1,000 for every home run he hits between now and the all-star break. These are just a few examples.