Tornado tragedy hits Oklahoma
May 28, 2013
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On Monday, May 20, 2013, a mile-wide tornado hit Newcastle, Oklahoma at precisely 2:56 pm. At least ninety- one people had died, twenty of them children, due to the catastrophic twister. Up to 145 injured people, seventy of them being children, piled into hospitals. Two billion dollars’ worth of wreckage, as well as up to thirteen thousand homes in ruins or severely damaged. One of the two schools hit by the tornado, Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, was demolished and reduced to rubble.
When asked his thoughts on the tornado tragedy, Zachary Sogluizzo, from East Lake High School, said,” I guess I don’t know how to say I feel. Some things are beyond comprehension and can’t be put into words. Because of this disaster there are ordinary men and women awaiting salvation that may not come. But, while this is a complete tragedy, it brings about a sense of unity and compassion throughout the nation.”
Donna Hoben, a second grade teacher at Tampa Charter School of Excellence, voices her opinion by saying,” As an educator and mother it breaks my heart, and being from the Midwest myself, it touches close to home. To me, it brings to my mind the realization of our own mortality and how we should embrace our own children, and our own lives as if each day is the last.”
The brutal twister left a messy wake behind it. In that wake is where some of the worst possible scenarios can be found. Two nine-year old best friends, Antonia Lee Candelaria and Emily Conatazer were heart breakingly hand in hand, dead, in the rubble of Moore, Oklahoma. In another Oklahoma neighborhood, two sisters Karrina, four, and Sydney Vargyas, seven months, were found dead as well despite their mother’s attempts to protect them. The most tragic stories can be found in the two elementary schools affected by the tornado, Briarwood Elementary and Plaza Towers Elementary. One student, eight-year-old Kyle Davis was killed when his neck was snapped by a roofing beam that fell while he tried to stay sheltered in a school hallway. Heartbroken parents console their kids who have endured unbearable circumstances, but who consoles the parents? What’s there to say to the ones who can’t look weak or broken in order for everyone else to believe they’re not finished either? The one who stays strong for all the others that are seeking something to believe in and look up to.
Brittany Mogged, a ninth grader also from East Lake High, states ,” If I could say anything to the people and families affected by the tornado, I would mainly say I’m sorry. It’s awful that bad things happen to good people, but I would remind them that God gives the toughest challenges to the strongest people because he knows they can endure them.”
Also out of this catastrophe comesstories of courage, fortitude, and allegiance. Stories that bring hope and honor, such as the pregnant Oklahoma teacher, Miss Doan, who held and reassured a boy in her arms that they were going to be just fine. Through the wreckage bold stories of valor from teachers are continuously popping up. Many are how teachers risked their lives, acting as human shields to their students as to block the debris and danger from reaching their students. One teacher was found underneath a battered car, protecting three children below her. These endless stories just go to show that even through all this bad, good still rises.