Storm unites a house divided

Published 7:43 am Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Everyone in Alabama knows that elephants and tigers are bitter, sworn enemies.A few months ago, the actions of one man reminded us how serious some people take the Roll Tide and War Eagle debate with the poisoning of the historic Toomer Oaks, an Auburn landmark. And when the National Champion’s front yard was vandalized, you better believe it made news across the country.

It was an embarrassment, for all parties involved. Though only one man killed the Toomer Oaks, all Auburn fans and Alabama fans alike share the responsibility for fueling a rivalry that got so out of hand. But in the wake of the worst tornado outbreak this region has experienced, the response from everyone across this state has made me proud to live in Alabama once more.

Tuscaloosa received the worst of the storm’s might. A total of 40 people have been confirmed dead, with 340 still missing as of Tuesday afternoon.Unexpectedly, however, I began to see my fellow Auburn alumni volunteering to lend a helping hand.Some formed groups like Toomers for Tuscaloosa to collect much needed clothing, food and water. Some formed caravans to make the trip to the home of the Tide to help clear the debris. Others helped by donating blood or simply money to the relief effort. Just like that, our house divided became a house united once again. It was a true testament to the human spirit, and a reminder that we are all still in this crazy life together.

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I know that come football season, the Tide and the Tigers will again find themselves butting heads, fighting for gridiron glory. We may cheer for different teams, but we are all Alabamians and we are all Americans. And though it’s sometimes forgotten, there is more to life than football.