Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Greensburg, Tornado

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.