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During my visit to Missouri to work with Bass Pro Shops I was able to make a 3-day Labor Day excursion to visit friends in Kansas City. En Route I decided I would drive through the area hit by the F5 tornado in Joplin, MO. All we had seen on television was the hospital, yet we knew the path of devastation was about a mile wide and 13 miles long. I felt that I needed to not only see the results of such a powerful storm, but to also pay my respects to those who lost so much on that day not so long ago.
When I arrived on the outskirts of the tornado's path I was shocked by the damage. However, as I traveled onward toward the center of the hell it must have been I was blown away by what I did not see. There were so few structures left standing where there had been street after street of homes! Homes that were missing. Homes that were forever swept from existence. Lives destroyed if not all together lost! I had to hold back tears that day and still do when I think about it.
I noticed people still cleaning up debris from lots. Working together to make something a little better for someone. There was a small group huddled together praying in the valley to my right and a church's cross standing tall on my left, no building, just a hole where one had been. A high school that had been all but demolished with the sign up front reading "HOPE High School" where the name had once resided.
There was hope in the air. Amidst the vacancy which I hear was a thousand times better than it had been initially, the people were beginning to rebuild. That is the strength of human nature!
I may add photos from the day sometime soon, and if I do I will link them here. Until then, remember those who need love, guidance, food, housing, clothing, money or whatever you can contribute.
God bless you all!