2012-11-30 / Editorial/Opinion

A Thank You From The People Of Rockaway

Like most Rockaway residents the great majority of the Wave staff decided to hang tough and remain in their homes for the duration of Superstorm Sandy. And, like those who remained, most of our staff lost basements and automobiles, electricity, heat and telephone services. Cold, hungry and in the dark, those residents who remained became dependent on the generosity of strangers for their basic needs. And the strangers came through. Thousands of people from all over the country flocked to Rockaway, celebrities and ex-presidents, divas and quarterbacks, all intent on bringing some normality to the peninsula. Early out, Senator-elect James Sanders Jr. said that Far Rockaway was like New Orleans Ninth Ward while the west end was getting all the assistance. That was never true. Volunteers and city workers spread out all over the peninsula, from the Redfern Houses on the Nassau County border to the gated community of Breezy Point. Churches such as St. Francis de Sales on Beach 129 Street became the focal point of community activity, with food, supplies and a warming center. Volunteer groups from ex-military to colleges flooded the area, ripping out basements, cleaning up driveways and streets, providing food, diapers, cleaning supplies and blankets. Some Rockaway residents complained to the press that the volunteers were like voyeurs, come to Rockaway to gawk at and photograph the victims of the storm. We don’t believe that was the case. The great majority of those who came did so out of a genuine interest in helping out and they are owed a large thank you from the entire Rockaway community. Also owed a giant thank you are the city workers who braved the storm to keep us safe – the police officers, firefighters and EMS workers who often were impacted by the storm and many of whom lost their own homes and property and a gold star to the sanitation workers who came after the storm and did a tremendous job in cleaning up the debris left by the storm. To them all, The Wave says Thank You!

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