Sunday, June 12, 2011

Destruction in the heartland...Sunday June 12th...Part 7...Hope.

A sneak peek from Joplin today, a few weeks....days, really...after the storm.

The flag still flies at half mast in honor of the people who lost their lives.

An artist carves eagles into the massive stumps in front of Joplin High School with a chainsaw.

Crudely dubbed 'HOPE' high school with duct tape to fill in the letters surrounding only the 'OP' after the tornado tore 'J-L-I-N' from the sign in front of the school.

The hand-painted sign near the newly sculpted mascot eagles reads, 'her feathers are ruffled, but she's not DEAD'....a symbol of hope and strength in Joplin.

Every single citizen has been affected by this....everyone has a story....ten stories...

Earlier this week, I saw Father Monahan in a local diner, surrounded by men of other faiths. As they ate their breakfast, they talked of the President's visit and the memorial service...a framed photo of the priest, shaking hands with Obama sat on the table with the salt, ketchup and creamer. 

Thursday, I read a comment from a man on Facebook, to a local media personality...the man said he was sick of all the 'tornado news', according to him, 'the local media needed to report on something else'. The man was from a local town, disgruntled about the fact that the humane society would not allow him to volunteer because of his disability. He was obviously frustrated, looking for a fight.

This storm changed our city. It changed the news. It changed the way I relate to the world around me.

I have to drive through 'HELL' to get home--literally, the scar across my city mars every path across town, it is hard to get anywhere without seeing the destruction.

Teams of men have begun clearing truckloads of metal, wood, and trash. I heard on the radio that a football field, including end zones and sidelines, stacked 200 feet taller than the empire state building was a rough estimation of the amount of debris that needs to be cleared from the tornado's path.

*Edited* here is a link to my flickr with a few better photos of the carvings, a downtown mural, and some pictures of an amazingly destroyed church. 

*Edited* Here is a link to my youtube video of the artist working...its farther away and windier than I realized....

(I'm off to photograph the Skaggs family!)

1 comment:

Josie Mai said...

Nellie, thank you. I can't tell you how hard I'm gripping onto your words and images right now. They are a life line...