My Father taught me a lot of really good life-lessons, one of them being that to be a truly great man is always admit when you are wrong.
And I was wrong the other day.
Wednesday I wrote about Hurricane Katrina and how I didn't expect to see any other nations pitching in to help, and historically I should have been right because as far as I can remember it's never happened.
But again, I might be wrong there also.
This morning at work I'm reading today's Beckley, WV newspaper, The Register~Herald, and on page 11A the headline shouted out to me:
"Several nations offering aid to U.S."
Over 50 nations from Cuba to Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Sri Lanka have pledged assistance.
Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice, in an attempt to dispute the report out of Moscow to the contrary said that "No offer of aid has been turned down"
Australia had donated $8 million to the American Red Cross. Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said;
" The United States is so often at the forefront of international aid efforts to help less fortunate nations so it is only fitting that Australia should contribute to the daunting task of helping the thousands of American citizens whose lives have been thrown into turmoil by this unprecedented disaster."
France also is sending two ships and several aircraft capable of airlifting tons of supplies, a disaster unit of 20 soldiers, an airborne emergency unit and a civil defense detachment.
In Halifax, the Canadians are fitting out three warships and a Coast Guard ship with food and emergency supplies and will set sail for New Orleans next Tuesday.
Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin is also releasing 30,000 barrels of oil and gasoline for US use.
Japan contributed $200,000 to the American Red Cross, and upon request has offered another $300,000 in tents, blankets, generators, portable water tanks and other equipment.
I stand before all of my loyal readers with my hat held humbly in my hands.
On behalf of the residents of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama who desperately need assistance I say thank you.
Copyright 2005 Thomas J Wolfenden