The initial death toll for the devastating two-mile-wide tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma for a shocking 40 minutes Monday afternoon, is presumed to be 24, lower than previous counts from last night that had it as high as 91. Though it might continue to climb, at least some of the dead are children. It's an absolute nightmare scenario, a tragedy beyond any kind of comprehension.
The state's medical examiner's office said the office anticipates 40 more deaths from Monday's twister. This isn't a movie. This is real life. It's possibly the worst tornado in history and is coming on the heels of so many tragedies in the past few months, it's almost impossible to process.
For those in the path of the storm, things were fine one minute, and 10 minutes later, everything was destroyed. It's the kind of thing that makes you ask why? Why do things like this happen? There is no explanation.
There are heroes, of course. Teachers who embraced scared children and comforted them before their parents could arrive. Teachers who led students out of the schools, holding their hands and carrying them. The photos are profound and moving. Just as they were from another school tragedy just a few months ago. After the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, teachers were heroes.
Now we see this again at Plaza Towers Elementary School and Briarwood Elementary School in Moore, Oklahoma. Teachers are heroes.
As a parent, I know this every single day when I send my children to school. They come home full of excitement and new information. But I also trust my children's teachers with their lives and, for the most part, I think that trust is well placed.
People always pay lip service to teachers not being paid enough, but then bash them when it comes to union negotiations and such. How many school tragedies is it going to take for us to look at the selflessness of teachers. They are bloodied and battered in the photos out of Oklahoma, but they are still carrying children. They are still thinking of our babies first.
There are no words for my gratitude and appreciation of those teachers and my sorrow at the many losses in Oklahoma yesterday. Many were asking how to explain these deaths to children and there probably is no way. At least none that makes sense.
How can we possibly explain a storm as massive as this one that can come along on a perfectly normal day and destroy everything in its path.
See footage below:
My heart is breaking for Oklahoma. We have to focus on the good -- the heroes -- or we will lose our minds. But I can't stray far from the sobering and horrifying facts of this situation. When all is said and done, close to 100 people may have lost their lives on a perfect May afternoon. That is just simply beyond comprehension or reason.
Have you seen any heroic stories that moved you?
Image via YouTube