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Jan. 28 a day Alabamians won’t soon forget

By Slade Blackwell

Last week started out like any other week during the legislative session: Monday I work in Birmingham and Tuesday morning I head to Montgomery and return Thursday. Then the snow hit. Like so many others in Birmingham and the surrounding areas, I was stuck. Thankfully I made it back home safely, as did my family, but for others, that was not the case. Central Alabama was paralyzed with the unexpected snow and ice and had to rely on the help and kindness of strangers. Fortunately, this is where we, Alabamians, excel.

Jan. 28 is a day we won’t soon forget. We all have our “Where were you when…” stories that we will share for years to come, but I hope these will also include the ones that capture the true spirit of Alabama. We will remember the teachers that stayed overnight at school until every student was picked up. We will remember the businesses that opened their doors to strangers needing shelter until the roads were passable again. We will remember the grocery stores that handed out free coffee and hot chocolate to people walking through the snow to make it home. And in Trussville, we will remember the heroic story of one woman, Beverly Elders Cross, who shuttled 104 people to their homes in her Suburban. In the article from The Trussville Tribune, Cross said, “I was just a small part,” when referring to her act of kindness. However, to those 104 people she picked up, I know it meant much, much more.

Alabama is no stranger to disaster and our true character comes out in times like these. The most recent and most evident is the April 27 tornadoes. In a way, last Tuesday reminded me of the days following April 27. So often we get caught up in our day to day routine and we get settled into what is “comfortable,” but in events like last Tuesday and April 27, we rise to the occasion and help those in need. Hearing stories of people like Cross makes me proud to be from Alabama and I am certain we can learn from Cross and the other Good Samaritans we heard so much about last week. Maybe each of us needs to do our “small part” every day to help one another, not just in times of disaster.

Slade Blackwell is serving his first term in the Alabama State Senate representing Jefferson and Shelby counties in District 15. For more information about Slade, please visit www.sladeblackwell.com or follow him on Facebook or on Twitter @sladeblackwell. To reach him by phone, please call 334-242-7851 or 205-324-7676.

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