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Archive for Monday, April 18, 2011

100 years ago: J-W editorial states need for ‘neighborly assistance’ to storm-wracked families

April 18, 2011

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for April 18, 1911:

“There are about fifty families homeless in this city [in the wake of the April 12 tornado]. The storm caught people unprepared of course.... It is up to the people of Lawrence even at this late day to extend neighborly kindness to the afflicted. This is in no sense charity, it is just common humanity, just every-day neighborly kindness. It is a wonder the destruction was not much worse. It is impossible to understand why more lives were not lost in the terrible storm. This city suffered a property loss of two hundred thousand dollars. Do you realize that in many instances this constitutes total loss for families? Do you understand that these people are our neighbors? It has been suggested that much good can be done by just lending a hand to put the houses back on foundations. This can be done in many cases. But there are houses so entirely destroyed that not a stick of timber can be found. Are we going to allow these people to suffer? It is no fault of theirs. It is time for Lawrence to wake up and meet this emergency. It is a pity it has gone so long. It is time to get busy. Act now.”

“When J. D. Bowersock, the heaviest individual loser, was asked what he thought of the recent storm’s violence, he replied with just the faintest hint of a grim smile, ‘First I think of and sympathize with those who suffered and lost, who had little.... It is said, ‘Whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth.’ I do not claim to have confidence or character to put myself in this class, but if it applies to me I prefer to waive any special rights and just be let severely alone for a few weeks.’”

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