Friday, April 26, 2013
A Word of Thanks to the Czechs
Not long after the full extent of the explosion and the terrible loss of life and property became known all around the world, reports came in that assistance was being sent to the area from, of all places, that former corner of the Hapsburg lands currently known as the Czech Republic. The Czech Ambassador to the United States, Petr Gandalovic, was quick to visit the area and the Foreign Ministry has said that it plans to donate four million koruna (or about $200,000) to the small Texas town to aid in local recovery. Obviously, this is a much greater amount in the Czech Republic than it is in Texas, but the amount is not the point. The point is that even in the midst of considerable economic troubles of their own, the Czech people are extending a helping hand to their brothers and sisters in the Lone Star State in their time of need. Czech flags still dot the central Texas countryside and the small town of West is made up predominately of the descendants of settlers from Bohemia and Moravia who immigrated in the late 1800's. That was, at the time of course, part of the "Dual-Monarchy" of Austria-Hungary and it reminds me of the more distant history of Texas when both Texas and the Czech lands were both under the reign of a Hapsburg monarch.
My primary point here though is simply to express my thanks to the Czech people for their generosity and compassion on this occasion as well as my admiration for the Czech people in looking out for each other even over such a large span of both time and area. It speaks well for them and I would hope would serve as an example to other peoples to show solidarity with those of their blood when in difficult times. It speaks well for them indeed and from one Texan to the Czech people back in their homeland; thank you.