Monday, May 28, 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Flag Still Flies in Joplin

A year ago a large section of our town was leveled by a tornado. Within days flags flew all over town, flags were propped among the rubble, flown from cranes and bucket trucks and fire engines. Today some of those flags still fly. This particular flag reminds me of the people in Joplin. A year later it is still blowing in the wind even though it only has half of it's stars and and a few partial stripes left. The people of Joplin, may have had their houses and businesses destroyed, and they may have lost family members or friends, but as time goes by they are rebuilding and healing. They are still flying. Even though this flag desperately needs to be replaced, I think it tells a story of this last year here in Joplin. A story of heat, wind, rain, and sun beating down on a swath of emptiness that used to be full of shady neighborhoods. A place that has changed forever. But there is new growth. Leaves are growing around the flag and to me that represents all the new growth in Joplin. Lots of houses and businesses are already built back up and it's neat to see all the new trees that have been planted.

After seeing this photograph a friend of mine changed a couple words to the last stanza of Frances Scott Key's poem and shared it with me. I love how it fit so well with my photograph and the thoughts we both had on the first anniversary of the Joplin Tornado.