On the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Dorian’s destruction Sept. 6, 2019, Ocracoke is fighting back by rebuilding and raising homes and businesses. Photo: C. Leinbach

We don’t like to continually write doom and gloom editorials, but September this year contains two major anniversaries that may cause angst in many of us.

For Ocracoke, it is the two-year anniversary today of when Hurricane Dorian on Sept. 6, 2019, swept over the island causing the greatest flooding to date.

Many islanders are still processing the trauma of that day and its aftermath of flooded homes and businesses.

Some damage has yet to be repaired, such as the Hammock Hills trail across from the NPS Campground, the N.C. Ferry office and dormitory at the south end of the island and the Jolly Roger, to name a few.

Such work takes time, especially on an island accessible for vehicles only by ferry. Island contractors and others have been working nonstop since Dorian delivered its wrath.

Rebuilding amid the global pandemic of COVID-19 has also hampered efforts due to construction material demand and lockdown restrictions last year.

Numerous homes have been raised thanks to Hyde County having received state assistance for home rebuilding, which has been managed by the Ocracoke Interfaith Relief & Recovery Team (OIRRT).

The OIRRT became a charitable nonprofit last year and continues with the rebuild process as well as positioning itself as the go-to organization should another disaster strike.

The islanders who rebuild and stay are to be commended for their resiliency in a location sometimes described as living on the edge.

Sept. 11, 2001, often referred to as 9/11 — an abbreviation that caught on since it is the national emergency call number — is the other anniversary.

It has been 20 years since this horrific event in which the United States was attacked on its own soil by members of the extremist, pan-Islamic Al Qaida. For those old enough, memories of that event remain and many recall that day this story, which also begins on page one of the September print issue.

Much has been written both about that day and its fallout, especially the subsequent “War on Terror” that was taken to Afghanistan.

The newly published “Crossing the Rift: North Carolina Poets on 9/11 & Its Aftermath” by Press 53 and available on the website press53.com features 116 North Carolina poets reacting to that day and what has transpired since then. The title is of this commemorative anthology is appropriate in that many would argue that the rift — a crack or split in our culture — has grown much wider in these 20 years.

Unfortunately, the world is still reeling from 9/11 and much uncertainty remains regarding the impact of the withdrawal of all American troops from Afghanistan. That story isn’t over.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we all just got along, had a little more tolerance without hating or harming each other for the myriad different opinions and beliefs we all have?

Alas, we know that is not human nature, and threatening times can bring out the worst in people. We also can hope that they inspire the best.

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  1. You give insight into to the swirling issues of the day, and you also give voice to the resilient island spirit that can see you through. Well done, Connie!

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