Rolling Forks MS, March 27 2023
The streets are in chaos, clogged with downed power lines, sightseers and volunteers. The fields of rubble are seemingly endless, the devastation is complete. In the middle of all this, someone has planted a stick into the ground and on it is flying the American flag. It appears to me as a rallying point, a battle cry, a call to action, a testament of the indomitable human spirit. Against ALL odds, we will prevail.
The locals all have the dazed look of survivors. The look of one who has not yet fully comprehended the terrible thing he just survived. The stories of survival are numerous. I stop to talk to a few ladies digging through what had once been their home. Now it is reduced to a pile of stinking, dirty rubbish. They had been trapped in that same pile of rubbish for two and a half hours. Now, they are searching for a purse. I get right into the middle of it and start moving the rubble, this is several hundred houses all mixed up in one big pile and I have no expectation of finding the purse, but I look anyway. And while we move the rubble, we talk, about the storm, about being trapped, about their nephew who is in the hospital with a brain injury. They are all so grateful to be alive. Not one word about their loss, only that they are thankful to be alive. Truly, these people are heroes.