Remembering …

Good Monday Morning, friends.  Jolly Monday will return in its usual format next week, but for today, without apology, I am doing something a bit different.  I came across something that I felt was a timely reminder and important for us all to read, to think about, to remember.  This came from a Facebook page I follow, the Jon S. Randal Peace Page.Peace Page

In 2005, a foreign army made its way toward the southern border of the United States.

As the convoy and troops passed Mexican villages on its way to the U.S., people in the villages cheered, waved, honked car horns and rang bells to support the mission of their troops.Mexican armyThe Mexican army, its trucks emblazoned with large Mexican flags, crossed the border at Laredo at dawn and advanced up Interstate 35, arriving in San Antonio later that day. The Mexican Navy would also send ships, buses and helicopters. It was the first Mexican military operation on U.S. soil in 90 years.

Mexico had sent its people to help and feed their neighbors – tens of thousands of homeless and hungry Americans displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

To backtrack, in August 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. It would be one of the worst disasters in U.S. history, and it became obvious very early on that U.S. aid agencies and relief/support was overwhelmed. People in Mexico were horrified to see scenes of floating corpses and botched relief efforts.

Mexican President Vicente Fox would send his condolences to President George W. Bush, saying, “In the name of the people and of the government of Mexico, I assure you of my deepest and most sincere condolences for the devastating effects caused by Hurricane Katrina”. He would also instruct the Secretary of Foreign Affairs its neighbor to the North would be provided with any kind of help that was needed.

“This is just an act of solidarity between two peoples who are brothers,” said Fox’s spokesman, Ruben Aguilar.

The Mexican government, with support from its citizens, would send a 45-vehicle convoy, which included two mobile kitchens, three flatbed trucks carrying mobile water-treatment plants and 15 trailers of bottled water, blankets and applesauce, according to CBS News.

The 195 Mexicans taking part included military specialists, doctors, nurses and engineers.katrina-mex-2According to the Washington Post, the Mexican soldiers set up camp at a former Air Force base outside San Antonio, where they distributed potable water, medical supplies and 7,000 hot meals a day for the next three weeks.

The Mexican army even brought beef to serve their neighbors, but the USDA blocked the distribution. Undeterred, the Mexicans bought their beef locally.

According to former diplomat Stephen R. Kelly, by the time the Mexican army completed their mission, the Mexicans had served 170,000 meals, helped distribute more than 184,000 tons of supplies and conducted more than 500 medical consultations at a time when the United States was struggling to provide aid to its own citizens in devastated areas.katrina-mex.jpgMexican sailors also assisted with clearing downed branches and other storm debris in Biloxi, Mississippi, where they posed for photos with President George W. Bush, who thanked them for their help.

Kelly, who was a former U.S. diplomat who served in Mexico from 2004 to 2006, would say, “this doesn’t sound like the Mexico you’ve been hearing about lately — the one that has been ripping America off, the one that sends rapists and criminals across the border . . . it was an extraordinary gesture” of humanity from our Southern neighbor.

40 thoughts on “Remembering …

  1. What a great reminder! I love it when people of all nations can work together!

    I hope this post has nothing to do with the current caravan situation, because this post has nothing to do with the current situation, though.

    Help in time of need does not mean we should have free borders.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Corey. The post stands alone, yet also speaks volumes about the way we have “repaid” our Mexican neighbors. When Trump calls them ‘bad hombres’, ‘murderers and rapists’, only for the purpose of spreading fear … isn’t that a pretty tacky way to treat them? And as far as the migrant caravan, I support allowing them the opportunity to be a part of this nation, though for the life of me, at this moment I cannot see why they would want to. When we turn our backs on people who need help, then we ought to feel a deep shame. That’s only my opinion and I’m guessing yours differs, but that’s okay. I have nothing against disagreeing, as long as it’s civil. 😉

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      • It feels somewhat strange to have someone disagree with a rational and civil tone. I thank you for that. Many people these days respond with, “You’re a racist! You only care about Trump and his minions!” Which would not be further from the truth.

        While I am concerned about the motives of many I that caravan, I believe that we should help our neighbors and those in need around us. What i think severely hinders that help is government interference.

        The world looked at the church and community leaders for help before our government was formed.

        Nothing stifles generosity and goodwill faster the policy.
        We lose the gift, and move into entitlement when that happens.

        I don’t believe the caravan should necessarily be let in before all of their neighbors that are looking to immigrate through the given channels, but they should be given care, food, and hope. The greatest is hope! Maybe not in residence in America, but a brighter future in their homeland.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ah yes, I have had a few ‘encounters’ on Facebook like that, and while I am capable of getting ‘down and dirty’, rolling in the mud with the rest, I find it accomplishes nothing but to raise my blood pressure. I have only one rule on this blog, and that is that you can disagree all you like, but it must be done in a respectful manner and with civility. Civil discourse is so much more productive, for then we actually listen to each other and maybe even learn something. 😉

          Several reporters have spent time with the caravan and every one of them has said it is exactly what it appears … immigrants — men, women and children — seeking safety, shelter and food. Surely in any group of 1,000 or so there will be one or two whose intentions are not pure, but overall, even a reporter from Fox News who spent time with them, has said these are not people with bad intentions or motives.

          In some ways, you are right about churches once being the source of help. I am, just so you know, not religious, not a believer. But, that said, churches have, in the past decade or two, become different, less ‘Christian’, more bigoted, preaching hatred for those who are different. Far too many, especially the evangelicals, are white supremacists and shun those who are Latino, black, or Muslim. And then you have the televangelists who rack up tons of money and coule help so many, but instead they spend it on their fancy mansions, private planes, etc. Though I’m sure there are exceptions, the churches in general no longer play the role they once did.

          I do like your last paragraph, for I would not see any starve or be left to die in the elements. Their homelands, for the most part, are not places where there is any hope, and I still think they should be welcomed here, for I think every day about the words on the Statue of Liberty … “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.”

          Welcome, by the way, and thank you so much for your thoughtful comments.

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  2. Did you know that in America about 50% of food produced is thrown away , that amounts to 60 million tons annually. This happens in most wealthy nations because many of us have turned into food-junkies.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I didn’t know the number was that high, but I’m not surprised. We are gluttons, and there is always that ‘new’ product prominently displayed that one ‘simply must try’, but then they get home with it, try it and say, “yuck”, and the rest is tossed. I have a tendency to cook far too much, and we end up with a fridge full of leftovers. Most get eaten, but there is always a bit of something that I end up pitching. Sigh.

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  3. Meanwhile what was “America” doing? Spending close to 50% of the nation’s income on bolstering its military armaments; fighting illegal and undeclared wars in the Middle East; maintaining close to a thousand military bases all over the planet and essentially threatening every nation everywhere with military intervention if it dared think of operating outside conformity rules invented and enforced by uncle Sam. Nothing has changed, in fact things are much worse now.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Jill, I was unaware of this significant act of kindness. This shows what a good neighbor and ally Mexico is. Our relationships are our strength. We have a President has self-declared he uses “fear” to motivate. Fear may win more than it should, but long term it is our relationships that matter. If Trump were my boss, I would have left a long time ago. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • I had forgotten about it, too, but now that I remember, I am more embarrassed than ever at the treatment Mexico has received from this nation since Trump took office. Like you, I could never work for a man of so few values.

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  5. It isn’t just that criminals cross the border, it’s the fact that we are at the point of not being able to feed, house, educate and support any more. It is a good time when the many support the few, but the few can not possibly support the many.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, that is a point that could be argued for days. First, most immigrants end up contributing more than they take. And second, we haven’t really reached our saturation point, but the greedy, the 1% who are millionaires and billionaires, are unwilling to pay their fair share to help people, whether citizens or immigrants.

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        • Define ‘suffer’. Will your children go to bed hungry at night? Will you become homeless? Will you have to live in constant fear of bombs dropping in the night, or soldiers breaking down your door?

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            • I am, of course, very sorry about your son. But it doesn’t negate our responsibility to be humans, to care for others when they need help. I didn’t specify bombs in Central America, but was referring to immigrants in general. Today, Middle-Eastern immigrants are as feared and hated by many as Latinos. In Syria, parts of Iraq … nightly bombings are the norm. Personally, if by doing with a bit less, perhaps cutting my own budget, I can help somebody bring their children to a safe haven, I am more than willing to do so.

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              • I regret that nowadays they prefer to enter here illegally rather than stand up and fight for their own country. Immigrants used to have some dignity and come in through proper channels.
                Would you run from the U.S. if we had that situation or would you stand and fight for it?

                Liked by 1 person

                • Forget the hype, only a small number actually flee. Most do “stand and fight” only the fighting is so one-sided now that the many are facing incredible hardships and dangers. Countries are being systematically destabilized and destroyed by the military industrial complex, armed and supported by none other than CIA-Pentagon. As in Terminator, people are fighting against machines and they can only fight for their lives when they no longer have a country – as in Iraq and Lybia, there is no country to fight for. Destroyed and failed states by US military intervention- let’s keep our eyes on the ball hey? The lie is that people are “leaving their countries in droves for the good life in the States.” If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge in Florida you can have cheap. I’m a legal immigrant but even so it has been difficult and traumatic. Wouldn’t we have preferred to stay in our own country if we could have made a decent living there? What prevented that? Our lands and properties were priced out of reach by the rich, and most of those came from the States. Reality check. The poor are being systematically pushed, forced and killed off of their ancestral lands to make way for profitable exploitation, either for oil, minerals or lands for expanding agribusiness. Guess who’s getting ALL the military support?

                  Liked by 2 people

                • The world has changed, but let me ask you this … why didn’t the Germans, the Irish, and all the other European groups who fled to the U.S. stay in their homelands and “fight for their own country”? I see the immigrants as having a great deal of dignity … but you know what? Dignity takes a backseat when you have children who are starving to death. Would I run from the U.S. under similar circumstances? Who knows what any of us would do until we are faced with it. Frankly, I am glad that I am old and won’t likely live to see what comes of this nation, for I am currently deeply ashamed of the U.S.

                  Liked by 1 person

  6. I bet the people of San Antonio haven’t forgotten such an amazing gesture of shared humanity from the Mexicans. I bet Trump doesn’t think to reciprocate with any help towards the ‘Caravan’ that the Mexican people have been supporting since it crossed their border, a humanitarian gesture would be great instead of the feast of lies served up by him.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 4 people

    • I would say, it’s time to give back, rather than throw up pointless scare tactics and threats. We have always opened our arms to immigrants (my grandparents emigrated from Canada in 1920), and even though there was a bit of jostling here and there, soon enough the cubans, the Irish, the vietnamiese, the chinese, the japanese, all of them became part of the fabric. We’re richer for that. I think we need to remember that, as well.

      Liked by 4 people

      • I agree with you … we are rapidly losing our humanitarianism, our values. I have always felt that we gain so much of value from other cultures … food, clothing, traditions. My neighbors are Syrian immigrants, and we spend holidays together where we share our traditions, they share theirs, and we have rather a blended, but VERY fun holiday!

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    • I would hope that the people of San Antonio haven’t forgotten, but … I haven’t heard them speaking out against Trump’s hateful rhetoric about the Mexicans, either. Mexico had a massive earthquake in September that killed over 200 people, but did we send aid or assistance, or even a word of condolence by Trump? No. There is no heart in that grotesque body that is the president of this nation … only poison.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 2 people

  7. A timely post. America must not give themselves over to the Rhetoric of the bully in the WH. His rallies prior to tomorrow’s vote have been full of dripping hatred for migrants South of the border. It is on mainstream headlines here in the UK, with sound bites from Mr tiny hands galvanizing his followers into believing false truths created by his own egotistical mind. I think he has even convinced the British press of his sincerity and they are starting to waver in their coverage of his campaign. Not nearly do much coverage is given for the Democrats, but when it does appear, there is a sort of suggestion that it is the weaker party.
    Folks, its in your hands tomorrow, to fill Congress with your representatives who will halt the madness. Good luck.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, his rallies have been filled not only with dripping hate, but nearly every word out of his mouth has been a lie, and yet the masses, his followers, fall all over themselves to prostrate themselves at his feet, believing every word. I am sad to hear that the British press is falling for his spiel … I’m sure the British people are not. Tomorrow will be, I think, the decisive factor in whether he will be allowed to declare himself a dictator, or whether his power will be reined in. I cannot, at this point, predict, for it seems that far too many are buying into his hate-filled trash talk. Sigh. What have we become? Thanks … and hugs, my friend.

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