By Ed Downs
Moore, Oklahoma has become a symbol of both tragedy and courage. In Flight USA sends our heartfelt sympathies to the families who have lost loved ones and to those for whom rebuilding is an almost unbearable challenge. Our prayers are with all who have lost so much to the terror of tornadoes in the weeks preceding this June issue.
Like many, this writer was glued to the television as the story of Moore, Okla. unfolded. Just one day before, Shawnee, Okla. was hit, with the loss of two lives and millions in property damage. An entire mobile home park was leveled. Shortly after the monster tornado hit Moore, a well know television news anchor for a popular national cable news network initiated a telephone interview with a well-known, Oklahoma-based, meteorologist and storm chaser. This Manhattan dwelling anchor somewhat flippantly asked, “So, how do you guys get these great tornado shots from your cars and helicopters. Do you just drive and fly around with a camera sticking out the window hoping for something to happen?” Fortunately, the storm chaser in question is a real pro. Although on the job for almost 48 hours straight, he politely told the anchor exactly what role ground and airborne chasers actually perform. This man had just saved hundreds of lives, yet our New York-based anchor (for whom Central Park represents rural America) continued to address a true hero as if he were little more than a thrill seeker. But wait, I am getting ahead of a personal narrative I would like to share about these terrible events of May 19 and 20. Let me get back to the heroic services offered by local television and weather departments a bit later in this editorial comment.