The Trees of Joplin

Buildings gone, neighborhoods flattened, and trees left as mere trunks.

On Sunday we drove the couple of hours over to Joplin to view the damage from the recent tornado. And to see what progress the city is making in the clean-up process.
This is all that's left of Hope High School in Joplin.

The devastation is awful, a big swath of the city about a mile and a half long and half a mile wide, or so, just flattened. I can't even imagine having every article of life in many neighborhoods, mixed together and spat out, with nothing left except what looks like a landfill.
Trees in all directions were mostly without limbs.

The trees were hard-hit, as well. Lots of them are completely gone, but many are still standing, their limbs twisted off, leaving nothing but a tortured trunk.
This tree has sheets of tin roofing and other debris lodged in its limbs.
But if you look close at all of the tree pictures above, you'll see life. Many of the trees, even the ones that are no more than a stick in the air, are leafing out. Yes, they are badly damaged, but there is hope, there is life. The whole town wasn't destroyed, just a major portion, but the much of the town remains. And speaking of parts that are left, parts that show life will go on, we saw this, as well.
Hope High School sign in the school yard.
If you click on the photo, you can see someone's taken the downed trees and using a chainsaw, carved several eagles, the school mascot. How heartening, what a nice gesture of encouragement, to take the destroyed trees and carve out the eagle mascot, showing the school will rise again, rebuild and life will continue. With sadness and loss, forever changed, but they will rebuild and the carvings stand in front of the school for everyone to see that Joplin isn't about to give up.
Eagles in front of Hope High School in Joplin, MO.


Isadora said...

The trees are so sad...unfortunately, leafing out doesn't mean the trees are alive. In most cases, it is just stored energy, and without bark to take up water and nutrients, the trees will shortly die. Most of them will have to be cut down.

I love that a talented artist carved the eagles. It was one of the volunteers: I don't know the name; the Joplin Globe ran a story on it. It's a wonderful memorial.

Isadora said...

That was Joplin High School. A volunteer filled in the missing letters with duct tape to spell Hope.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Wow, in spite of all the devastation, there is HOPE. I love those eagles and think it was a wonderful thing for someone to do.


Life's Beautiful Path said...

Jim, thanks for sharing these photos and captions. Trees sending out new green leaves -what a sign of hope and crying out don't give up on me, even if I am not as beautiful as I once stood. mary Nida