LETTER TO THE EDITOR — Locals thrive with unprepared courage

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Dear Editor,

“As to moral courage, I have very rarely met with the two o’clock in the morning kind. I mean unprepared courage, that which is necessary on an unexpected occasion, and which, in spite of the most unforeseen events, leaves full freedom of judgment and decision.”

– Napoleon Bonaparte, St. Helena, 1815.

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The events of this past week reminded me of the truth of the Emperor’s statement.  While Napoleon was reminiscing about the command abilities of his marshals, his declaration also described his soldiers, who often faced imminent mortal danger with calm confidence in their training, weapons, and leaders.

Blasted awake at one in the morning last Wednesday, Mid-County residents rose and met the fiery challenge with steadfast determination worthy of commendation.  TPC employees quickly ensured the crew’s safety and limited the damage.  First responders treated the injured, isolated the area, and contained the conflagration.  Officials obtained additional resources to prevent an expansion of the catastrophe into nearby residential areas.  Neighbors are now helping each other clean up and rebuild.

The decision to evacuate 50,000 people the night before Thanksgiving was the correct one.  Lessons from other chemical plants fires, especially Texas City, were heeded.  Evacuees were allowed back to their homes as quickly as was prudent.  It could have been worse.

Rita, Ike, and to an extent Harvey, were all disasters that we watched come over the horizon.  This sudden shock again showed Southeast Texans at their finest.  This time in the middle of the night with courage unprepared, yet undaunted.


Charlie Jehlen