The past seven days have been anything but ordinary.

One week ago, tornados ravaged a large portion of Central and Northern Illinois and Northern Indiana.  In the daylight hours following the squall, families looked around them to find homes decimated, neighborhoods demolished, and trinkets and belongings gone.  Victims will feel the scars of destruction long after their lives return to normal.

Just this Friday, Americans came together to remember the 50th Anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination.  At my campus, we held a concert hosted by the Wind Symphony (in which I play the clarinet) titled “In Memoriam.” Following our final piece, the audience was absolutely silent, as each member thoughtfully remembered the life and death of a man loved by his nation.

But I do not write about these two chilling and moving events to bring sadness.  I write them to remember and honor.  I write them to give thanks and praise.  I write them to encourage you that even in the darkest of times there is light.

Where is the light in the tornado aftermath?  It is in the volunteers, and kindhearted people giving their time and efforts to find aide for all of the victims.  It is in the love that binds families together though they have lost every material possession.

Where is the light in the death of a President?  It is in the memories that he left behind.  It is in the hearts of those who strive to continue what he started.  It is in the bond of a nation that knows no evil will run them to the ground.

Yes, the past week has been anything but ordinary, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  If we were not put through adversity, how would we know just how much to value every single fiber of our existence?  After all, some of the greatest things about humanity are born from the darkest ashes of life.

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Anything But Ordinary

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