Sunday, July 05, 2009

The Day After the Explosion on Ocracoke

The village continues to mourn the loss of the four that were killed when their fireworks truck exploded yesterday. One by one the death count rose as the night and morning wore on.

Confusion, grief, sadness, and quietness has settled onto this tiny little island of Ocracoke.

Tragedy is always so difficult to deal with in a community, but being isolated by geography makes this event so unusual.

The community is so close that the stories flow like water. Everywhere, everyone, every minute.

I started the morning waiting for the Virginia Pilot to be delivered at the Community Store. They were sold out in 15 minutes. The porch was full of folks with stories to tell, some more gruesome than is humanly possible.

A memorial parade was held at 3 this afternoon to honor our volunteers. They are the real heroes in this epic. The men and women are dedicated to saving and preserving lives, but nothing in their training could have prepared them for this. In reality they are good island folks who volunteer to help their community. They rose so far up over the challenge that they are heroes in our lives....keeping the fires from spreading, caring for the severely injured even though they must have known that death would soon follow.

This evening another wonderful event was held at the Methodist Church. It was a wonderful group of men and women singing and sharing their love of instruments through song and story. I believe there wasn't a dry eye in the place when Martin Garrish sang Iris Dement's song, Our Town.

The week end is past. It is supposed to storm tonight and will good to begin washing away the scent of the disaster and begin healing...tomorrow.

Lou Ann