In a world full of sadness and chaos, every American can look toward our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico if they want inspiration.
I have been through several CAT-3 hurricanes but the difference between 120mph winds and 155-75 mph winds is exponential. I watched a four-door sedan spin on its nose like a child’s toy and steel dumpsters dance like tops and fly through the air like cardboard boxes and the roof of a house disappear into the heavens like a kite.
Really, there are no words that I can give that are adequate to describe the power of such a storm and no doubt experts will be debating the mechanics of its fury for years. What I can say is, that every American can be extremely proud of our fellow citizens of all classes and every persuasion in Puerto Rico.
The way that almost every person has come together and helped one another, is the essence of what I have always thought it means to be American – and make no mistake, Puerto Ricans are red white and blue.
Observing their grit, courage and grace, in the midst of such horror has been one of the most inspiring things I have ever witnessed.
Not everyone is a hero heroine.
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz is not.
In fact, she has repeatedly put her own well-being and personality cult ahead of others.
A wanna-be socialist revolutionary, for her entire time in office we have had to listen to her extoll the virtues of Cuban communists and Venezuelan “chavistas.”
When Oscar Lopez Rivera, the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña terrorist and bomb maker was released by President Barack Obama as one of his last acts of office, Yulin Cruz declared a holiday for all government employees in San Juan for the FALN revolutionary.
Where are her friends in Caracas and Havana now?
Today, the regular citizens of San Juan are paying the price for her failure to prepare for Hurricane Maria and her failure to execute the public safety responsibilities of her office.
How for example was she able to get tee-shirts printed bashing her country, but was unable to move supplies? These are all questions that every American should ask.
If Americans want a heroine, they need look no further than Republican Rep. Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon, who represents Puerto Rico in Congress. She is a public servant, everyone can be proud of.
The same goes for every other Puerto Rican, who crawled out from the debris and set politics aside, to help their fellow citizens and human beings.
I have lived all over the world and I have never known such a fine people as our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico. Today, they are showing the whole world what it means to be an American.
Chances are you do not know, so I will tell you: Tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans donated their own supplies from Hurricane Irma to their fellow Americans and Caribbean islanders in the Virgin Islands in the week before Maria struck.
Literally, hundreds of wonderful people at their own expense carried water, diapers, drugs, food, medical supplies and baby formula in a constant flow in boats of every size and description in the week before tragedy struck them.
I was proud to have participated in a very small way on one of these trips to St. Thomas the Sunday before Hurricane Maria, in which we took supplies and brought back people, many of whom lost everything.
One beautiful lady could do nothing, but weep for the entire journey back to Puerto Rico.
The only historical example I can give for this spontaneous effort would be the rescue of the English army at Dunkirk.
Now, I am weeping for Puerto Rico, in sadness, pride and anger that their courage and goodness is not being revealed as it should be.
As for San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz? She lectures the rest of us from the pulpit of a bankrupt city. If anything, she is the Ray Nagin of this tragedy—another mayor, who put partisan politics and personal gain ahead of caring for their people.
As for average Puerto Ricans, they will do what Americans have always done, they will dust off and rebuild. We should all of us together let them know that they are not forgotten.