Wow, didn’t think I ignored this thing that long. Well, recently, my community suffered a huge loss. On May 22, 2011 at 5:41, the 8th deadliest tornado went through and wiped out 1/3 of Joplin, Missouri. Nearly 140 people lost their lives, many sacrificing their own trying save others. All reported missing have been found. Eight-thousand (8,000) structures were destroyed, several more damaged. The tornado was rated an EF5, was half to one mile wide and traveled through six miles of city.
A co-worker’s house was destroyed in the process. Luckily, he was not home that day. Other co-workers live out of town, but had their churches or family’s homes damaged. While a tragic loss of live and a huge amount of devastation, the community of people, both local and from all over the United States, coming together to help was astounding to me. In all my life, I have never seen a coming together like this from humanity.
I was saddened by the loss, but rejuvenated by the coming together. A local radio station (Zimmer Radio) owns several channels. They shut off all music and advertising for 9 days while they helped coordinate volunteers, services offered (many for free to victims, volunteers, and civil service helping out), announce numbers where people could be reached. They also devoted their Facebook page to help. That had to have been one of the greatest humanitarian things done during this tragedy.
Churches drove through the neighborhoods offering food and water to anyone, whether volunteers, people helping friends and family dig through the rubble for personal items, and civil service. Businesses opened their doors to the homeless.
I still have trouble putting into words how I felt and appreciated everyone’s help. While I was not directly effected by the tragedy, the devastating tornado touched down just minutes after my family and I had left town. It wiped out several businesses we had just visited. Only those minutes separated our (as well as hundreds of others) life and death. Only moments separated our lives and Death’s rickety carriage.
My soul mourns the loss, my geeky mind keeps calculating the moments, my heart was lifted by the humanity afterward.
I’ll close this blog for now, and return to the geek in me and post some more geeky stuff.