LTE: Response to disaster brought out the best

May 21, 2015

The following letter to the editor appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer on Thursday, May 21, 2015:

As we reflect on last week’s Amtrak derailment, I want to again express my condolences, on behalf of all Pennsylvanians, to those affected – especially those who were injured or who lost loved ones. But in this time of darkness, many Pennsylvanians – especially Philadelphians – shined. And I am profoundly proud of those who risked their lives. The heroism of the first responders, fellow passengers, and community showed the goodness that exists in each of us.

There isn’t enough room here to name everyone who selflessly lent a hand, but I want to commend Mayor Nutter and his team. They stepped up in the face of a grave emergency and delivered leadership with direction and grace.

Words are not equal to the actions of the brave Philadelphia police officers and firefighters who rushed to the scene; the EMTs, doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff who saved lives and treated survivors; members of the Red Cross and employees at Webster Elementary who gave passengers shelter and hope; passengers who helped others to safety; Temple student EMTs who didn’t hesitate to help when needed; and neighbors who brought bottled water and supplies for victims and first responders and took strangers into their homes.

Pennsylvanians answered the call when fellow citizens were in need, and for that we extend our thanks. On the night Amtrak 188 crashed, and in the days that ensued, brotherly love wasn’t a slogan; it was a sense of duty.

Governor Tom Wolf

See Governor Wolf’s Letter to the Editor on

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