Greensburg, KS dedicated this striking memorial, The Beacon, to commemorate 10 years of progress since the devastating tornado that destroyed almost all of their community. They chose a bible verse, Isaiah 58:12 as the inscription – “Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a re-builder of walls and restorer of homes. ”
I have so much admiration for the thoughtful way they have rebuilt to be greener and better. Rural small town survival is never easy but Greensburg has carved a niche for themselves with sustainability and have more LEED buildings per capita (population 800) than any city in the United States. They also exude a sense of family among residents. During the 10th anniversary commemoration ceremony, they paid tribute to each person that died and released a white dove-shaped balloon into the night sky as the names were read. The audience sang and prayed together. Bob Dixson, their long-time mayor, reminded them that while the losses could never be forgotten, their responsibility was to love each other in community.
I was reminded that long-term recovery really does mean long-term. I also recognized how far Greensburg has come. Congratulations on your achievements.