Approaching Nashville on I-40 tonight, I passed abandoned cars, asset recovery, environmental services and property restoration trucks. For miles and miles, a reminder of what was on the minds of many Nashvillians this day--starting over after the worst disaster to hit Middle Tennessee since the Civil War.
Although it was dusk and I couldn't see the devastation that wrecked my community, the thoughts of people still missing, thousands without homes, shelters full and downtown still flooded couldn't escape my mind.
As I approached mile marker 192, I read the sign that I have passed a hundred times before: Nashville. Home of the Grand Ole Opry. That was also right about the time the curtain went up for the Tuesday night Opry show. Yes, less than 48 hours after the worst flooding in decades and unimaginable damage to the home of "The Show That Made Country Music Famous", the show must and did go on! The show was quickly moved to War Memorial Auditorium, one of the Opry’s original homes from 1939-1943. As I listened live on WSM 650, it was mentioned several times that "music is healing". And, how true that is! It didn't matter if it was a long standing Opry member performing a classic song, a new Country Music Artist performing his #1 hit or a Senator strumming his rendition of the Tennessee Waltz, the music gave me hope that Nashville will indeed pull together as a family and start the rebuilding and healing process from this catastrophe.
On behalf of my Community, we hope you will continue to plan those trips to Nashville during the next few weeks and months while our city is rebuilding. Yes, we have an amazing amount of devastation, but we also have many hotels, restaurants, museums, and live music venues that are open for business and who would love to share some Nashville hospitality with you. You can check out www.visitmusiccity.com for the latest updates on Nashville.
Finally, if you love music (and who doesn't?), please consider donating to the flood relief efforts to the city that music calls home - Nashville! The Nashville Red Cross (www.nashvilleredcross.org) is currently accepting support. As always, they appreciate and can use most quickly, cash donations. If you wish to personally support the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, you may donate in one of the following ways: Text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation from your mobile phone, visit http://www.redcross.org/, or call 1-800-REDCROSS.