Saturday, July 7, 2012
I feel an intense personal sadness as I continue to learn of the loss of life and other injuries that happened during the storm which ravaged the part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that I am most fond of on Thursday. To the families of those who were killed, I extend my condolences; for those injured and struggling to recover, I will continue to pray; especially for the little 7-yr old girl trapped under water in a swimming hole by a falling tree, I am thankful that others knew CPR and were able to revive you, and I pray for a continued miracle. May God wrap His loving arms around your entire family and bless you. To my Park, with your thousands of downed trees, closed roads and trails, damaged facilities, I know you will recover. You are resilient and no stranger to the power of nature. This will be but just another scar on your landscape that time will eventually cover over. However, the pain etched into the hearts of those affected by this storm will never really be wiped away by time. My heart aches, and, my dear Park, I think yours does too.