The Storm that Woke a Giant: Community Spirit

Fintan Phelan reflects on Week 3 in Washington DC & that infamous storm

After a busy week, the WIP Class 2012 were out and about exploring the monuments and memorials of Washington D.C. The monuments and memorials are very impressive and  it is clear that they invoke a great sense of pride and respect from all.

As we sat on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial everything looked so peaceful under the moonlit sky. In the blink of an eye the wind picked up an incredible pace. The tidal basin began to gush and the sky glowed red! We quickly made our way to shelter and watched as mother nature unfolded. For most of us it was the first time we had seen a storm of that magnitude and power. Each of us watched the sky light up and listened out for belting thunder which never came. It was a strange storm.

It was clear from watching this storm that nature is the most powerful force on earth. We looked on from the memorial of a great leader,  in the world’s most powerful city, yet there was little to do to stop nature.

As the storm calmed  and the damage quickly became apparent. It was clear that the battle was lost. However the war wasn’t over. Phones began to ring. A sleeping giant was awakened; Community spirit. In the aftermath it was incredible to see the strength of the community. Those with no electricity were welcomed with open arms into the homes of those who did. It was also very appropriate that our service project on Saturday morning was in DC Central kitchen where we prepared meals for the homeless community, there is no doubt that they were severely affected by the storm.

In many respects it was a case of the haves/and haves not and this community dealt with it very well. Showing compassion, togetherness and energy in their response. One thing for sure, community spirit is alive in DC.