It happened again. Total silence. Much like the "oh my God" moment that happened in October 2005 when we crossed into the destruction zone along the coast. Today it happened on foot. We were walking into the the zone around the High School where the tornado hit.
Eight people lost their lives. The majority of whom were high school kids in the assumed safety of their school.
Seeing the destruction, I am surprised more didn't die.
Houses destroyed. Roofs blown completely off. Trees on top of roofs. Wires on the ground. Large pieces of sheet metal stuck in trees 50 feet up. Grave stones flipped over. Scores of cars with windows exploded.
National Guard troops armed with M-16s and police officers on every corner.
And into this maelstrom came a small army of 47 BonaResponds volunteers adorned in their brown shirts. Walking with mouths agape. Seeing the destruction. Seeing the damage. And then, the volunteers got to work. No, we could not do everything but we could do something. We could help haul debris, help cut trees, help pick up branches, and, most importantly, to help encourage and to help give hope.
And so we did.
As a personal aside, I have to admit that in the weeks leading up to this trip, there were days when I questioned whether the headaches, late night emails, and constant phone calls were worth it. Today I was reminded that it is. It most definitely is.