Five days after a deadly tornado ripped through Washington, Illinois, there are countless images of the destruction and devastation. It is hard to find the words to describe the loss and heartbreak.
But there is at least one image that says it all.
“It’s like that picture is one that did speak a thousand words,” said Kaitlyn Rose.
Rose was walking through the debris in her friend’s backyard after the tornado tore through town, when she found a small Washington football helmet.
“The helmet was basically just kind of like just basically sitting over here in the rubble and there was this huge tree branch just sitting out,” said Rose.
So she put the helmet on the branch and snapped the picture.
“I feel like this football team, which is what the helmet signifies we’re just pushing forward to that game and it’s just bringing our community together even more and it’s bringing happiness to all of us, even though, the devastation that you can see in the back of the picture, this helmet means so much,” said Rose.
The 12-0 Washington Community High School Panthers will play Saturday, November 23, 2013 to go to the state championship.
“Even though my community is destroyed and we’re going through so much right now, we are Washington strong,” said Rose.
That strength showing even beyond the football field; neighbors, friends, even strangers helping each other sift through the debris.
“We’re going to pull through this and be better than we were before. It’s going to take awhile, but we have a really great community and a really great support system and I think we’re going to be better than what we were before,” said Rose.