Symbol Unites Parkersburg One Week After Tornado

By Mark Geary, Reporter

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By Mark Geary

PARKERSBURG -- Last Sunday's tornado changed Parkersburg forever. It's been emotionally devastating for everyone who lives there. Now, many have found an interesting way to get through this difficult time.

High atop the mountains of memories that line the streets of Parkersburg, a symbol of strength waves in the wind.

"If you can find one piece of something that represents who you are and you can stand on that, then you just cling to it," Parkersburg resident Renessa Zurbriggen said.

Dozens of torn and tattered American flags soar above the former homes of the brave people who survived the tornado. Some have also planted crisp, new flags near the debris.

"It's a show of faith and pride," Parkersburg resident Virgil Goodrich said.

Kyle Spree, a Parkersburg resident, said, "It's showing that we will soldier on and we will rebuild this town one piece at a time no matter what."

No one is really sure who was the first to raise the flags back up, but now old glory has united everyone in this community.

"Our patriotic feelings are what gets us through even a tornado couldn't t tornado couldn't take them out," Billie Spree said.

Even though possessions may be lost forever, flags are still there. The stars and stripes are a sign that people won't have to completely start over. The American spirit will serve as the foundation for the future.

Only about 30 of the 220 destroyed homes still need major clean up work. Dump trucks will carry away the debris all week as people prepare to rebuild.

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