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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 24, 2014 at 6:08 AM

Wash. fires show the power when we work together

Melanie Johanns, right, and Noah Stewart, chief corrections deputy for the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office, work to extinguish a fire in Johanns’ front yard on July 19 in Malott. (Maddie Meyer / The Seattle Times)

The firefighting effort we’re witnessing in Eastern Washington shows that people work together quite well in the shadow of disaster [“State’s wildfires a reminder of nature’s force,” Opinion, July 23].

If you’re not one of the firefighters coming from all over the country, you’re in Brewster, Carlton, Pateros, Twisp or Winthrop making sure that people who have lost their homes are getting food, shelter and clothing. I am confident that no one is asked their position on the wedge issues that divide us before facing the flames, or before handing out relief. No one cares about political affiliations, religious belief, and so on.

Perhaps we could notice that the whole world is on fire, from Gaza to the desiccated fields of California, and all points in between, and follow the example we’re seeing in Eastern Washington. I know, I sound like I’m singing “Kumbaya” in the voice of Rodney King, but it’s been two decades since he asked, “Can’t we all get along?” Why does it always take tragedy and disaster to answer in the affirmative?

Brett Zalkan, Seattle

Comments | More in Wildfire | Topics: Brett Zalkan, Carlton Complex fire, Eastern Washington

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