Last week, I saw a community come together like never before.
We all know the story by now. The snow started at 11:15 a.m. By 12:30 p.m., most of metro Atlanta decided to try and get home. Less than one hour later, there were accidents and traffic everywhere. By the afternoon, people were abandoning their cars and walking. By night, we had children stranded on buses and drivers stuck miles from home. Hundreds of kids spent the night at school; hundreds of adults spent the night in the office or at a local business.
But in this confusion, the best of us came out. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been lucky enough to hear stories about the teachers who stayed with their kids at school. I’ve heard about neighbors who picked up as many kids as they fit and personally delivered them home.
I’ve heard about the folks who went to the worst spots and just started pushing cars immobilized by ice, towing vehicles stuck in ditches and spreading sand and kitty litter over impassable hills.
I’ve heard about local businesses that invited in weary travelers and gave them food, blankets and a place to rest the night.
I heard about our public works staff, our contractors, our firefighters and police officers working all night, sleeping in their trucks and staying put after shifts were done to keep people safe.
I heard about neighbors leaving their porch lights on to signal to stranded drivers to come in, get warm, eat a hot meal and have a safe place to stay for the night.
I’ve heard about whole neighborhoods clearing room for dozens of children stranded in buses – making sure the kids called home, making sure worried moms and dads knew everything was going to be OK.
I’m sure we’ve each got our own personal tale – and I’m sure in each one of those stories there’s a nugget of what makes Milton a wonderful place to live, to work, to raise a family and build a community: the fellowship and friendliness of ourselves and our neighbors.
I wish I could get every name and list them here for everyone to see. I wish I could invite each one of you to City Hall and honor you each individually. But the truth is there were just too many great tales – too many great people who put the safety and comfort of others above their own personal concern.
We couldn’t list them all. We couldn’t hold them all in one building.
And I think that’s a truly incredible thing. So when we look back on the rough couple of days we had last week, let’s focus on what brought us together.
Because it’s rare we get the opportunity to share with each other how much we really care and the lengths to which we will go to ensure our community is safe.
So thank you. Thank you to each and every one of you who took it upon yourselves to be part of the solution. You are what make Milton the amazing place it is.