When it comes to making us say “Wow”, none can keep pace with mother nature.
Over the past few days, 60 million Americans were under blizzard or winter storm conditions. For many cities, including Baltimore, it was the largest snowfall ever recorded, topped by a jaw-dropping 42″ in Shepherdstown, West Virginia!
Our social media outlets were filled with images of delighted children—and adults—sledding, building snowmen; frolicking in a spectacular world of white.
Such winter wonderlands are not without their own ‘backwards wows’ of course. At least thirty deaths have come as a direct result of the blizzard, none more tragic than that of a good samaritan who was shot by the stranded motorist he stopped to help. Over a quarter of a million people have been without power and many continue to be. More than 13,000 flights have been cancelled as of this morning. Dozens of cities implemented a travel ban and thousands of businesses remain closed today—including all government offices in the nation’s capital—to allow clean up crews to clear roads, train tracks, and runways.
But there were some positive ‘Wows’ to be found in addition to the spectacular visuals provided by mother nature:
All of our Emergency Heroes. No accolades would be complete without a sincere tip of the cap to the thousands of emergency workers who worked through the weekend clearing snow, fixing power lines, rescuing stranded motorists and those without power, napping on cots between long shifts at the hospital, and many other deeds we don’t know about. These brave individuals make great sacrifices so that we can make hot chocolate and snow angels. If you know someone who works in one of these occupations make sure you thank him or her today.
The Miracle of Life. Amidst the record snowfall a woman in Stafford, Virginia went into labor despite being completely snowed-in. Panicked, the father called 9-1-1. Fire and Rescue personnel were dispatched to the home but it was apparent that they would not make it in time. Undeterred, the 911 dispatcher talked the father through the birthing process, enabling them to successfully deliver a healthy baby boy!
The Old Guard. More than two feet of snow was dumped on our nation’s capitol as the city faced full blizzard conditions over the weekend. But the 3rd US Infantry Regiment, known as ‘The Old Guard’, maintained their round-the-clock vigilant guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. The tomb guards work in shifts: 24 hours on, 24 hours off for five days, followed by four days off. It takes an average of eight hours for a guard to prepare his uniform for duty. The tomb has been guarded every minute of every day since 1937.
The Sentinel’s Creed
My dedication to this sacred duty
is total and whole-hearted.
In the responsibility bestowed on me
never will I falter.
And with dignity and perseverance
my standard will remain perfection.
Through the years of diligence and praise
and the discomfort of the elements,
I will walk my tour in humble reverence
to the best of my ability.
It is he who commands the respect I protect,
his bravery that made us so proud.
Surrounded by well meaning crowds by day,
alone in the thoughtful peace of night,
this soldier will in honored glory rest
under my eternal vigilance.
These ‘Wow’ stories remind us that with intentionality and purpose, human beings can deliver the Wow Factor even in the worst of conditions, in fact, it is often in times of duress that remarkable strength and character is revealed.No one can 'Wow' like Mother Nature. Click To Tweet