I’m sitting in a hotel room right now in Wichita, Kansas. And I’m tired.
But it’s a happy kind of tired. You know, the kind of tired that is almost satisfying in the way it feels. Because I spent the day watching a bunch of people march into a little town called Greensburg, Kansas and do whatever it takes to pick up the pieces and start over again.
It is practically impossible to explain the scope of the destruction caused by last Friday’s monster tornado. I interviewed a local TV meteorologist who told me that it’s quite possible that the F-5 tornado that destroyed Greensburg was 2 miles wide. Consider the fact that Greensburg was around 1.7 miles wide and one has an idea why the direct hit by the enormous twister wiped the town off the map.
Obviously, I’ve never seen a once proud town completely demolished by a tornado. To stand on Main Street and see uprooted trees, twisted vehicles, and flattened buildings north, south, east, and west is a sight that goes beyond being surreal. I’ve always understood tornados to be cruelly inconsistent in the way they skip from one block to another, wiping a house away on one block while the next block is unscathed.
In Greensburg, nothing was missed by this massive funnel. Even the familiar grain elevator which stayed standing had all its windows blown out and the metal casement around the massive structure twisted like a pretzel.
In deciding to come to Greensburg today and tomorrow in order to broadcast my radio show from here, I knew we had to come with a purpose. A couple of years ago, I began devoting a certain amount of shows to try and make a difference in other people’s lives. It’s one thing to talk politics and debate issues on a radio show like mine. But when an occasion arrives where my family of listeners can band together for a common good, well, that’s an amazing feeling.
I want to honor the resilient spirit of the people of Greensburg, Kansas. Virtually every single survivor I interviewed today demonstrated an amazing attitude about what they’ve been through. I find it very unlikely that I would manage to maintain a cheery disposition and courageous attitude if everything I owned in the world had been lost.
And yet, the residents here count themselves lucky. Despite around a dozen deaths, most in this town of 1500 residents managed to take shelter in storm cellars and basements. One after one they told me how “things” can always be replaced, but people cannot.
And they smiled.
As we’ve done in the past, my radio show has partnered with “Feed the Children”, a wonderful organization out of Oklahoma City. I’m asking my listeners to donate whatever they can to help in the clean-up and rebuilding effort here.