Once again we're all hugging our children just a few seconds longer this morning before we send them off to school. As of this writing, 9 children have died in the Moore, Oklahoma tornado. With perverse precision, this storm managed to focus its deadly winds on two elementary schools, Briarwood and Plaza Towers. And we're yet again witnessing the unbearable news of children in the path of danger, some cruelly wrested from this world.
So we watch reunions. Seeing Oklahoma parents who have found their children and get to hold their babies again is a sweet balm for all of us who are saddened by the tragedy. It's almost as if watching over and over again could undo all the deaths -- almost. But of course, that's impossible. Even now, there are parents still searching for their kids. And if knowing that opens up another gash of heartache for you, bring your mind back to the children who survived.
The Oklahoman/NewsOK.com captured footage of families at Briarwood Elementary reuniting in the aftermath of the tornado. There's chaos, as families try to find each other. And there are unabashed tears of joy and relief as parents grasp their children -- and their children dissolve into the comfort and safety of those embraces.
A father and his son tell what the boy went through as he weathered the storm with his classmates and teacher at school.
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Another boy describes his experience in the storm (at about 1:38) and starts to break down. Fortunately, his mother was able to be with him at the time. She covered him with her body.
Our hearts go out to all the families in Moore, Oklahoma, but especially to families who lost children, and families who are still looking for their children. Here are 10 ways you can help families affected by the tornado.