The tornado that tore through Moore, Okla., last Monday was a force of pure destruction, claiming the lives of at least 24 people. More than a mile wide, the storm blew homes and businesses apart with its 210 mile-per-hour winds, leaving nothing but wreckage in its wake. More than 2,000 homes were hit and now 10,000 people are displaced.
But in the 24-hour news cycle since the twister, the tone of the people of Moore has been one of hope. They will recover and they will rebuild, and interview after interview featured ordinary people demonstrating extraordinary faith and resilience. Things can be replaced, they say; they’re just glad to have their lives and the lives of their loved ones. More happy stories have emerged, like the woman whose dog was recovered in the rubble during a live interview, or the man who, still shaken from his harrowing race to find shelter, wasted no time in helping others escape from collapsed buildings nearby. Residents became first responders, and the community continues to pitch in to get the job done.
That kind of strength is inspiring, and when the headlines are tragic, it’s important that we reflect on the bright spots.
Locally, the news of the day is not so horrific but is consistently dominated by crime and misery. They say if it bleeds, it leads, and too often, that is true. A murder victim was discovered in Warwick’s City Park last week; another shooting in Providence; pension woes plague Rhode Island cities and towns. It’s easy to get bogged down in the bad.
Thankfully, for all the bad there is, we have heroes locally, too, and many of them starting young.
Consider the Vets students at the school’s leadership academy who organized last Friday’s tribute to Korean War veterans or two candidates for Eagle Scout. Tim Madsen of Troop 138 is organizing a drive to collect toiletries for those at the Rhode Island Veterans Home and Christopher Bianco of Troop 1 rallied about 20 people to help give St. Kevin School a facelift on the Memorial Day holiday.
Every week, there are stories of devotion and hard work, charity and selflessness. The people of Moore give us hope. And so do the people of Warwick.