Learning value of community

May. 22, 2013 @ 05:09 AM

It is times like these when the value of community and neighborhood ring true.

As residents of the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, Okla. woke on Tuesday morning, they found a broken shell of the vibrant community in central Oklahoma.

An EF-5 tornado ripped through the area with indiscriminate force and power that left houses, businesses and cars destroyed.

“We will rebuild and we will regain our strength,” said Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin to The Associated Press as she flew over the wind-ravaged scene describing it only as “hard to look at.”

But, when events like those of Sunday and Monday that ripped through the Midwest leaving only a swath of damage in its wake, it can be difficult to find that strength to rebuild.

The community of Ellenboro is well-aware of how strength is needed in the aftermath of one of Mother Nature’s most powerful shows of force.

Just over a year ago, Ellenboro experienced a rare phenomenon when an EF-2 tornado touched down in January. It was rare for the timing as well as the location.

In the end, all of Rutherford County came together and helped families in need to piece together what was broken.

Joplin, Mo. is another community that understands the value of coming together.

In 2011, EF-5 tornado — the highest rating for a tornado — ripped though the southern part of the city situated in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, killing 158 and injuring 1,100 while leaving $2.8 billion in damage behind — making it the deadliest and most costly tornado in modern history.

Through it all, while on different ends of the tornado spectrum, both Ellenboro and Joplin residents overcame the damage to property and family to begin anew.

We never know when Mother Nature will strike nor do we know what form she will strike in.

One thing is for certain: She will strike and when she does, the end results can be devastating.

Over the coming days, there will be stories of heroism and courage. Across the country, people will shed tears over the destruction in Moore.

The focus now should be the coming together of a community that has experienced its second deadly storm since 1999.

It is a lesson we can all learn from Joplin and, even closer to home in Ellenboro.

Value your neighbors and your community.

While the buildings and homes are gone from Moore, the spirit of the community is something that should only grow stronger.

By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board


The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark.