The Norman Transcript

Community News Network

May 27, 2013

Flags become symbols of hope, unity in tornado-damaged Oklahoma

(Continued)

MOORE, Okla. —

No one seems to feel they are in this alone. Police cars stand guard against looting. Every few minutes, a truck from the American Red Cross, a local restaurant, a church group or a battery company passes along and pauses to offer food, water and provisions. Young men wearing fraternity T-shirts help clear debris. Insurance adjusters take pictures. Several residents, unbidden, express gratitude for the assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

For some residents, planting the flag is a way to show their thanks for the outpouring of help.

Someone planted 13 small American flags before the splintered house of Jerry Woods and near the one remaining brick wall, where a neighbor wrote in black paint, "Thank You Jerry U Saved My Family Lives." Woods, a disabled Vietnam veteran, sheltered 22 people and three dogs in his small underground storm shelter designed for 12 people. His Veterans of Foreign Wars post, 8706, is sending him $500 to get back on his feet, but he plans to endorse the check over to another neighbor, who wasn't insured for anything but a car.

"It's what we do as Americans," he said as friends and relatives carted away debris. "The American flags here are what we do. It's times like this when people pull together."

Some of the flags on display were among the homeowners' most valued possessions.

Ed Steiner, a retired city building official, had two flags in front of his house Thursday. One, flying from a pole outside the garage, flew every Fourth of July and Memorial Day. The other, draped over his car to dry, covered his father-in-law's coffin. It was presented to Steiner's wife, who displayed it in a triangular, glass-front box on a cedar chest by their home's front door, so that it was the first thing people saw upon walking inside.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3

    July 24, 2014