The Norman Transcript

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May 27, 2013

Moore survivors stand strong

NORMAN — Families clung to each other, prayed together, sang together and shed tears together Sunday night during “Oklahoma Strong: Coming Together In Faith” at First Baptist Church in Moore.

Thousands of people attended the memorial service that was put together by the governor’s office and led by Gov. Mary Fallin.

As the event was broadcast live, the images stuck in someone’s mind at the end of the night may not have been the aftermath of the May tornadoes but rather those moments captured on camera of everyone in the church holding their hands to join as one to sing. Or maybe two people grasping hands and lifting them up as a sign of being “Oklahoma strong.”

“Our spirits have been shaken this week and our hearts have been broken, but our resolve is strong and we will rise again. In the midst of human tragedy, we see the best of Oklahoma come forth,” Fallin said.

The governor said it has been said that a person’s character is defined by how a person handles life’s troubles. Today, and this week, we have seen the character of Oklahoma through its resilience, strength, courage, love compassion, ability to heal and recover, she said.

“Oklahoma will be Oklahoma strong. We’ve seen it time and time again. My fellow Oklahomans, stay strong during these challenging times,” Fallin said.

One of the most emotional performances on Sunday could debatably have been that of “The Oklahoma Strong Children’s Choir,” which was comprised of Moore elementary students who survived the devastating storm.

The children got a standing ovation before and after their performance of “Jesus Loves Me,” with parents, teachers citizens and dignitaries applauding long and loud.

First-grade Briarwood Elementary teacher Waynel Mayes told her story of what she and her class went through May 20.

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