Per reader request, via RebootCongress, a feelgood palate cleanser as we finally start to leave the news orbit of the holiday. Question: What’s an all-American city to do on Independence Day after it’s been decimated by one of the deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history?
Answer: Go all out, of course.
That’s right; plans were changed. Monday’s celebration of the Fourth in the partially destroyed city of Joplin will be bigger and louder and better than ever, and will end with an extended display of glittery starbursts designed to brighten the faces of all looking skyward.
There will be ice cream, and games, and country-western music, and inflatable bouncy houses, and fellow Missourian Rush Limbaugh, who will seize the moment to promote an iced tea drink flavored with Tea Party fervor. But there will be no references to the tornado that killed 158 people: no American Red Cross booth; no salespeople for Twister Safe and other tornado-protection products. “We want to have one day without thinking about it,” Beth Peacock, the events manager for the city’s parks, explained. “Tuesday’s going to be here soon enough.”…
City officials say they have carted off well more than a third of the debris. After that comes the more painful task of demolition. It is one thing to clear away the Elks Lodge, or that old supermarket off Main Street, and quite another when it’s your house, and you think you might, might, be able to save it — but the city disagrees.
In fact, Joplin should not be mistaken for a damaged utopia, where all the people are on their best behavior and in agreement with everything said and done. Joplin is human. Here a sign says “God Bless Joplin,” and there another says, “No Trespassing — We Are Watching.”
Limbaugh’s site has a transcript but the clip’s less than 10 minutes. No politics, either; just “uplift,” in the words of the man himself. Exit quotation: “We’re there for each other when times require it. Joplin, Missouri, you are defining that in the last month.”