South Carolina: Open Arms

South Carolina has always been a place of unity, acceptance, and neighborly smiles. It should come as no surprise then that refugees from war-torn Bosnia have made their way to the comfortable safety and warm embrace of Charleston, and locals willing to open their homes and arms to those seeking respite.

David MantekRecently announced at a press conference, Obama stated plans to welcome 10,000 refugees as they escape the Syrian civil war. The conflict, burdened with dark tones of racial and religious entanglement, has cost over 22 million people their homes. Though the decision to bring over refugees, especially in the wake of the Friday the 13th Paris attacks, has been fraught with antipathy. Some governors going so far as to forbid refugees from making a home in their states.

However, spurred on by the urge to do kindness, several smaller counties have issued statements welcoming the refugees to their towns. Though there is more work to be done, several cannot resist the call to help those in need. Meeting the beleaguered travelers at the airport, Charleston families have demonstrated an incredible sense of empathy. Regardless of ethnicity, it’s not difficult to put yourself in the shoes of those who’ve given everything to survive just one more day at the expense of a lifetime’s worth of memories.

There’s little we as Americans can do to understand what those fleeing Syria have experienced. Though no stranger to violence, American citizens have never known the distant thump of constant bombardment or plastering over freshly strewn bullet holes in the front of your home. Luckily, these innocent people aren’t asking us to carry their burden, only help shoulder it.