NORMAN — Just hours before, there was breakfast and laughter. Pictures were on the walls and memories were in every room. But in seconds, those joys of life were reduced to a concrete slab by a rage of nature that man will never fully understand.
As the tears flow and people embrace, one word rises above all others: “Why?”
Weep softly or shout in rage. It matters not. The answer to that one-word question has haunted man since the dawn of time and will follow him to eternity’s edge.
As mortals, we are equipped to handle how, what, when and where. We analyze, we report, we document, we reconstruct. We find answers.
But the sad and bitterest of truths is that there is no answer to “Why?”
As smart as we think we are, as enlightened as some claim to be, not one of the billions of us sharing this rock have the answer to that question.
On today’s two-year mark of our own pain here in Joplin, the people of Moore are, sadly, feeling theirs.
The images are eerie: A tree stripped bare, metal in its limbs as a mother carries her daughter wrapped in all she has left — her love. The hospital, the schools, the businesses and homes. The destruction is all too familiar.
As we look back today, we would ask Joplin residents to remember our day of pain, then respond to those in Moore who are living theirs.
We have come a long way since that Sunday afternoon of May 22, 2011, but we still have a long, long way to go.
The people of Moore are only two days into that horrific journey. Please give them a hand and, yes, if you have the inclination, a prayer or two as well.
Though we will never get an answer as to why, we can ask: “What can we do?”
— Joplin Globe; on May 22, 2011, an EF-5 hit Joplin, killing 161 people.