North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL


May 2, 2013

An NJN Editorial: Here’s to resiliency, and rising again from the rubble of disaster

AN NJN EDITORIAL — It’s hard to believe, but it has now been two years since the tornadoes of April 27, 2011, that devastated Fultondale and many other communities in Alabama.

The hardest thing to believe — and in some respects, the least surprising — is the way the city has rebounded from that day.

Fultondale still shows the scars, but you have to look harder to find them. An abandoned storefront or two on Decatur Highway, several empty residential lots behind City Hall and the Promenade Shopping Center, and damaged motels at the city’s south end are still very evident.

But in large part, the town has moved on. The commercial center is back to normal, even enhanced now with new businesses such as On Tap Sports Cafe and the forthcoming Aldi grocery store on Walker Chapel Road. Just this past Saturday, the Hawkins B. Carter American Legion Post 255 opened its new hall on New Castle Road, replacing the old facility near the city center. And Fultondale First Baptist Church has experienced a rebirth, both physically and spiritually.

It is true that Fultondale did not have nearly the degree of devastation as Tuscaloosa, Pleasant Grove or Pratt City. There, whole swaths of houses were simply flattened, with little left  but a dusty tornado path. Rebuilding those communities is a much bigger effort.

Tuscaloosa is moving along, as the area just south of the University of Alabama campus is sprouting new business and residential life. In Pleasant Grove, it’s slower going, but there is progress still. Ditto for Pratt City.

All of this is to show that Alabamians are a resilient lot. We get knocked down, only to get up, lick our wounds and pick up the pieces. It’s who we are; it’s what we do.

As we once again remember those who did not survive this once-in-a-generation tornado outbreak, let us pledge to them to keep rebuilding, to make our communities even better than they were before.

Their memories deserve no less.

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    April 15, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Old dogs can learn new tricks

    You’re never too old to learn something new. I’m of the opinion that you can, indeed, teach an old dog new tricks.
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    April 7, 2014

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    In these photos, everyone else in the family is smiling as if this were their favorite vacation of all times, but I am huffing with my arms crossed and a literal frown on my face.

    March 26, 2014

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    March 20, 2014

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    March 14, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Lessons, fun times make retreats enjoyable

    I did something recently that is apparently out of the ordinary for most people. I went to a marriage conference while I was not in the midst of marital problems.

    March 6, 2014

  • Letter to the editor: Thanks to Gardendale citizens for hospitality

    We, along with many other travelers, spent the next two days and nights in your splendid center. We are of the opinion that we couldn’t have been stranded in a better place.

    February 28, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Be sure to give your kids what they need

    Once the snow melted this week, life went back to normal and we all found ourselves busy with our regular day-to-day activities, and trying to catch up on everything we had put on the back burner during the snow days.
    Our household had a busy weekend, and among the events of the weekend, we celebrated our second birthday in three weeks. That’s right, our perfectly-blended family has given us two daughters who celebrate birthdays within three weeks of each other.

    February 18, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Find excitement in the boring days

    Many people got to take a vacation day this past Monday for MLK Day. What this day stands for is a great cause and an issue that should be addressed, but for many people, it was just another holiday.
    Our office is like most other offices, so we were open to the public Monday. But since schools and daycares were closed, I got the privilege of staying home with the four best daughters in the world. We started off the day with the attitude of fun.

    January 22, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: One year down, rest of my life to go

    Dec. 29, 2013 has come and gone, and for many people it held no lasting significance. But for me, it marked the first anniversary of marriage to my amazing husband.

    January 9, 2014