Yesterday, I found this in the wreckage of the Rockaways in New York City. It was Veterans Day.
The region which is made up of many different communities – Belle Harbor, Far Rockaway, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Edgemere, Arverne, and Neponsit – is still without power, heat, and access to food and other essential supplies more than two weeks after the storm.
The Rockaways is a “salt of the earth” kind of place and a high percentage of the people there who lost their homes and everything else are veterans and their families, young and old, from World War II straight up to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Many residents lack the resources to leave the area and if they did would have no place to go. Volunteer efforts and donations are the only thing holding the situation together.
The city, state and federal response, including the Red Cross, has been pathetic.
The residents of the Rockaways and other effected regions have already paid for emergency services with the highest taxes in the country and the highest rate of charitable contributions in the nation.
In turn, the Red Cross and various government response agencies including FEMA are fully funded and staffed with legions of so-called emergency relief experts who have done as close to nothing to provide meaningful help as humanly possible.
This is where I found these two photos. Keep in mind this just one block on one street. Hundreds of blocks are in various states of destruction and this is not to count other parts of Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Long Island and New Jersey.
A short list of Sandy relief groups we endorse: http://www.HelpAfterSandy.org