- Posted September 20, 2010 by
battle creek, Michigan
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Enbridge Kalamazoo River Disaster Update 20Sept 2010
Well, if you want to talk about a surreal week in ones life ... this has been it in mine.
I was invited to go to Washington to testify before congress and did so. If you have read any of my other i-reports.you may understand a little bit of what my fellow residents and I have gone through and continue to do so....
I debated on if I should accept the invitation, but as my brother,husband and 83 year old mom said... if your country asks you to do something you should...
So off I went to Washington ... catching a ride with another guy who was from the Ceresco and Marshall area... closer to the spill site.
We flew out of Detroit into DC meeting up with another witness and was then taken into DC by van. We were taken to Congressman Schauer office and after numerous times of trying to meet each other or talk one on one to us. We got the chance... we also met Molly the Congressman's staff members dog... after a short meeting we were given a short tour by another staff member while we waited for other witnesses to join us... To be honest we were exhausted (3 hours sleep the night before)_ and I would have preferred to lay down on the carpet and crashed but did not want to be rude. (my mom taught me manners) so off we went... then we returned, met the other witnesses.... were taken to the hotel... then we went to eat at a local restaurant. Back to hotel 11:30 or midnight... tried to finishes a photo DVD for the hearing and fell asleep with my head on the computer, hugging papers I should read...
We met in the hotel lobby the next morning 4 hours later... back to DC.
We were ushered into the hearing room by Jimmy who as far as I can tell is the go to guy and knows everything and everybody. He brings us bottles of water and soda and tells us to press the green button when we are to talk. We are allowed to speak for 5 minutes. I had 10 pages written ... so I just hit high points.
The Michigan 6 (this is what I call the group of us) talk one by one ... all of us breaking down at some point.. We are asked questions afterward and when they break (for a vote) we are escorted out.... I head for the restroom to sob... I feel that I have failed the residents....
We grab some lunch and head for the airport.... get tied up with a rude, untrained, Delta agent and then security... and almost do not make our flight... As a former airline employee I wanted to yell but I will just let it go... or maybe I will write a letter....
We land in Detroit, James heads to the Cleveland Clinic with his wife, while his mother in law drives me back to Marshall. I pray that they find some answers.
I watch the rest of the hearing online the next day. I hope that the laws change and that things will change for the residents, the Michigan 6 and myself. But more than that... I pray that no one has to go through what we are what we are going through.
Thank you Congressman Schauer, Congressman Oberstar, Congresswoman Miller for caring.