Mayfield, Kentucky’s mayor, Kathy Stewart O’Nan, recently spoke on the damage her town has taken and how as a community they are finding hope after a series of tornadoes hit the state.
Emergency responders are still combing through a collapsed candle factory for survivors.
O’Nan said the destruction was “heartbreaking” — including damage to major buildings like the community’s courthouse, city hall and banks.
But cutting through the debris and destroyed infrastructure, there was something special that caught the mayor’s eye.
“What I did see though, and I’ve seen them pop up all over town as I drove around yesterday, the American flag from our fire station No.1 was damaged in the rubble across the street from the bank,” the mayor said.
“I got the flag, I walked across the street, I picked up the flag and I handed it to two of our firefighters who immediately began to fold in … that ceremonial, beautiful pattern.”
“I thought, here we are standing in this rubble and the most important thing to us is being so tenderly taking care of. That flag is now safely in my care and we will fly that flag ceremoniously when we recover.”
The mayor said she was overwhelmed with text messages from people reaching out asking how they could help, saying it was “heartwarming” to read the kind offers for help.
“Many people I know, I taught here for a long time, and so I hear from former students all over the United States, ‘Ms. O’Nan, when can we get there? What can we do?’”
“The volunteerism, the ‘what can I do,’ is what gives us hope today,” the mayor said. “And our prayers, of course.”
O’Nan recalled a moment one week prior when three congregations came together, including hers, for a combined advent service.
“We came together, we started at one and walked to the other two,” she said.
“We were smaller congregations and all of us talked about what a beautiful service that was, could we please do it again soon? We will, it won’t look the same, but we will do that again some day.”
“There’s always hope. We hope for a miracle for the days to come,” O’Nan said. “Right now, what we hope for is that our surviving people are warming cared for and have a place to shelter.”
Mamas Uncut is THE online place for moms. We cover the latest about motherhood, parenting, and entertainment as well – all with a mom-focused twist. So if you're looking for parenting advice from real parents, we have plenty of it, all for moms from moms, and also experts. Because, at the end of the day, our mission is focused solely on empowering moms and moms-to-be with the knowledge and answers they’re looking for in one safe space.