Surfside Building Collapse Puts It All in Perspective

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Twenty years ago on a road trip we were staying on someone’s floor in Seattle with plans the next morning to drive to Vancouver. We woke up one morning and saw a note from our host. “I don’t think you’ll be able to go to Canada today. My Dad called and said a plane hit a building in New York City. Crazy!” There was no TV in her  apartment, so my first reaction was why would they close the border? A plane crashing into a building is a weird thing to happen, but I’m sure it happens from time to time. Later on that day of September 11  when I got in front of a TV seeing the visuals from the World Trade Center I understood the tragedy.

Similarly my wife woke me up this very morning saying she heard a building collapsed a few miles from us in Surfside.  Her Mom had texted to ask if she was alright. Again in my head I underplayed the severity. My imagination had me figuring it was a small two story building like ours. One of those eight unit art deco buildings that line Miami Beach up and down.

But after seeing the footage of the collapse of the 12 story high rise condo in Surfside, again I understood the tragedy.

All this time we’ve been sheltering in place who could imagine our end could come from our very shelters?

It’s hard to find any meaning in what just happened, but if you wish to help here are a couple resources.

The city of Surfside is accepting volunteers. Here is a link to sign up.

The Coral Gables Community Foundation, The Key Biscayne Community Foundation, The Knight Foundation, The Miami Foundation, Miami HEAT, and Miami HEAT Charitable Fund have launched a hardship fund to help those impacted. you can donate by clicking here.

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David Rolland

David Rolland edits The Jitney blog. He is the author of the novel The End of the Century.