The June 5, cover of Newsweek presented a picture of a tornado with the words splashed across the cover: "Weather Panic. This is the New Normal (and we're hopelessly unprepared)."
After so many recent natural disasters — the May 22 tornado in Joplin that caused extensive damage and killed at least 153, tornadoes on New Year's Eve and Good Friday that caused damage around the St. Louis area or the floods that devastated farm land in Southeast Missouri — we ask ourselves: "are we prepared?"
Many local Catholic schools are among donors to the effort to help survivors of the Joplin tornado.
The class of 2011 of Villa Duchesne/Oak Hill School in Frontenac called on the school community to fill a truck with supplies for Joplin. Working with the Salvation Army of Joplin, students, families, staff and faculty at the private Catholic school brought in personal hygiene products, cleaning supplies and canned food, as well as cash donations, last week to load on a 26-foot box truck donated by a Villa Duchesne family. Another school family volunteered to drive to Joplin with the items.
Many World War II veterans will tell you they were just doing their job — serving their country as they had been asked.
Charles Rohde counts himself among those folks.
But later this month, Rohde, 88, and others will be honored with the French Legion of Honor Medal, presented to those who made significant contributions to France's liberation during wartime. Created by Napoléon Bonaparte in 1802, it is the country's highest honor.