San Francisco 1906, New Orleans 2005

It’s hard to think about anything these days but the thousands of
people who perished in the hurricane and floods and the 1.5 million
people who have been displaced whose lives are permanently disrupted.

Today I’ve been inspired by reading an article written 99 years ago in
the aftermath of the great San Francisco earthquake and fire. This was
the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States up until
that time.

Please read this and pass it along, if you think it can give us some hope and a new perspective.

Source: Great Epochs, Vol. 10, p.163-8. Author: Henry James Forman, “The Earthquake and Fire in San Francisco”
Three-fourths of the city of San
Francisco have been destroyed by earthquake and flames. Three hundred
thousand people have been rendered homeless, and are facing, for the
moment, want and misery. The Federal Government, the States, and the
cities, newspapers, societies, and individuals are urging and
hurrying aid to the sufferers of the greatest calamity of the kind in
American history. No one is blind as to the extent of the disaster.
Yet, from every quarter comes that word of cheer and encouragement, of
sympathy and friendship, that is so helpful in times of distress, so
typical of the American character. Fortunately, says the New York
Journal, “it is certain that the spirit of ‘Forty-nine’ lives in
California to-day. The same courage that changed a wilderness into a
great State, and a strip of land by the sea’s edge into a beautiful
city, will do that work again. And from the ashes and the ruins, the
blasted hopes, the broken fortunes, there will arise another San
Francisco, more beautiful, more worthy of a brave people

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