On our way to Tulsa, Oklahoma last Sunday the great storm forced us to pull off of the road near Joplin, Missouri. We managed another half mile or so down the road to the next exit and when we pulled off realized all of the power was out in Joplin. We waited in a parking lot to see if it would come back on quickly, but soon realized that the storm was getting worse. Metal poles in front of us were shaking so violently that we decided it was time to get back on the road regardless of how much gas we had. It wasn't until about two hours later, upon arrival in Tulsa, that we realized the extent of what we had just escaped from.
Yesterday, having finished up our business in Tulsa, my wife and I began driving home and made our usual rest stop in Joplin, Missouri for refueling. We drove down Range Line Road, as has been our custom in the past and we were not ready for what we saw. How do you put into words the feelings you have when you look at piles and piles of twisted metal, crushed cars and telephone poles snapped like toothpicks knowing that many died on the very ground that I am staring at? I dared not take pictures for the veneration that came over me. I felt anger at others driving next to us, who were snapping photos with at least two different cameras, not realizing that a family member of the dead could be watching. What indifference was on their faces! Smiling and cackling with the windows down, they had absolutely no consideration for what had happened there. I wondered what their plans for those pictures were going to be. Did they plan on updating there social network page with 'exclusive' pictures from Joplin in the hopes of getting more 'hits' on there page? People are very insensitive to others. Love is lacking in America and it is amplified in places like Joplin. I recall similar situations and feelings from when I was deployed to Iraq. Yes, Joplin is likened to a war zone, and rightfully so. The damage is as far as the eye can see and complete. For about five city blocks I saw nothing salvagable. And during the same five city blocks, I saw that love in America is not salvagable either. Joplin will never be the same and America continues down the same road of indifference and selfish gain.