Like many of you in the Binghamton area, the first sign that something was wrong in the downtown core this morning was the huge cloud of black smoke rising above the city. I had a clear view of it as I embarked on my morning commute toward Endicott. It wasn't until a little later that the constant barrage of Facebook and Twitter notifications began to hit my cell phone. I tried my best to share with you as much as I could until my phone battery finally gave out.
It wasn't until almost 11 hours after the first alarm sounded, and I was home, that I was able to comprehend the full extent of what occurred today.
Reading through the news reports and the numerous Facebook and Twitter posts; one thing was clearly obvious. Binghamton residents and business owners set aside their political, social and economic differences today. They all came together as a community; lending their moral support for the Ellis family, the surrounding businesses and, of course, the Binghamton Fire Department. There were no cynical or sarcastic comments. There has been no blaming or conspiracy theories.
This overwhelming sense of community is quintessential Binghamton. Ellis Brothers Fine Furniture has already announced that they will rebuild. It is obvious the Binghamton is as important to the Ellis family as they have been to Binghamton. Binghamton did not let them down today. In fact, Binghamton did not let itself down today. This is just another example of why I love Binghamton.