It was difficult reading the accounts of how the tornadoes ravaged Alabama and took so many lives. The effects they had on the student athletes made me even more sad, because instead of simply equating tragedy with something they would read in Shakespeare, they learned first-hand about the tragedy of mass destruction and loss of life.
Daniel Feigin, New York City
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I want to thank Lars Anderson and photographer Simon Bruty for taking the time to go beyond the usual sports coverage and bring us a beautiful story about the devastation in Tuscaloosa (Terror, Tragedy and Hope in Tuscaloosa, May 23). Watching helplessly as the tornadoes swept across the Alabama campus and then seeing the killer storms jump over the Birmingham suburb of Trussville, where much of my family lives, is an experience I don't want to relive but unfortunately will never forget.
South Orange, N.J.
I graduated from Auburn and have rooted for the Tigers my entire life. However, as I read through your heart-wrenching article on the horror in Tuscaloosa with tears in my eyes, all my athletic animosity toward Alabama faded into insignificance.
Jim Riddle, Naples, Fla.
In the wake of the destructive tornadoes that leveled parts of the South, altruism and selflessness have been displayed by athletes across the nation such as former Crimson Tide players DeMeco Ryans, Shaun Alexander, Julio Jones and Marcel Dareus, who all returned to Tuscaloosa to aid and support those in need. In addition, student athletes from neighboring schools have played a role in the rebuilding of the city. While playing in the 2011 NCAA softball championship regional in Tuscaloosa, the University of Memphis women's softball team spent a day volunteering with the city's emergency services unit, helping to clear debris from the streets and sorting clothes for the needy. Even the student-athletes at Auburn have worked with their university to help organize Toomer's for Tuscaloosa to aid those in need. It's amazing how the worst situations can bring out the best in people.
Michael S. Beckenstein