The weekly photo challenge is to find a monument, big or small. I have heard it said….”big things come in small packages.” I decided to find a monument with big meaning…even if it was small in stature.
On April 17, 2013 the West Fertilizer Company exploded. The explosion killed 15 people (12 of those 15 were first responders), injured (at least) 160 people and destroyed 150 buildings including the West Middle School.
Yesterday, my family and I drove to West, Texas (pop. 2800) to see if they had erected a monument. It also occurred to me the remnants of a spontaneous make-shift monument may still be standing.
Though I live only an hour from this town, I have never driven beyond the little store, just off the freeway, that sells fresh baked kolaches.
In search for monuments, we drove to the middle of town and took a left. It became obvious right away that we were on the right road. On either side of the road we noticed large empty fields. There are a lot of large fields in Texas but this was different. The fields had no grass, no mesquite trees, no grazing cattle, no life….just dirt and a few mangled fences.
Then I saw one, a monument. I pulled to the side of the road, jumped out of the car and stared in awe at the simplistic beauty this little monument shared. A wooden stick, with two wooden stars. Each star was painted with a personal note of encouragement and optimism.
I got back in the car to continue my search. Almost immediately I spotted another star, then another and another.
The town of West is rebuilding. As we drove through the neighborhood surrounding the explosion area we saw new houses being built and signs of life popping up all around. I have no doubt, with the encouragement of small yet meaningful monuments, that stand proudly along the road, this small Texas town will rebuild and flourish!
Love, Hope is here in West
I love West
Turn scars into stars