I’ve never had my life turned upside down by a natural disaster. I can’t honestly say I know what that’s like, and I hope I never do.
But since coming on as editor over the Enterprise back in August and speaking and interacting with people who know all too well what that’s like, I believe I have come to understand it a little better.
This upcoming Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of the Dec. 10, 2021 tornado that devastated much of Dresden, damaging and, in many cases, completely destroying homes, businesses, and public facilities, particularly in the downtown area.
And, from what I have heard and observed over the past few months, that event left a mark on the Dresden community and its residents that goes well beyond mere property damage or what can be measured in governmental reports and insurance claims.
That tornado left some very real mental and emotional scars, and, for many, I think those scars are still pretty sore and tender. And the fear and distress and trauma of that night is still fresh in many minds and hearts.
But I’ve also seen ample evidence that Dresden is healing as a community. And, of course, there are plenty of observable, measurable signs that the city is rebuilding.
I’ve also heard more than a few stories about the amazing and inspiring ways that the people of Dresden have been there for each other and have held each other up through all this.
Included in this week’s edition is a special section marking the first anniversary of that horrific December night, and we here at the Enterprise offer that as a kind of gift or token to you, the residents of Dresden, in recognition of what you have endured and in celebration of what you have accomplished together over the past year.
Thank you to all who contributed to the section by sharing your written thoughts and your photos.
Personally, I would like to thank Enterprise staff members Jasmine Williams and Laura Bates for the hard work they put in on the section. It should be noted that Jasmine and her family actually lost their home in that tornado, so it was the real deal for her.
It should also be noted that the tornado destroyed the Enterprise’s former office building in downtown Dresden, which is why we’re all working in rented office space in Martin these days.
I want to offer a very special thank you to former Enterprise editor and current regional news editor Sabrina Bates. As far as getting it all together and writing it up for the special section, she made the biggest contribution, and she deserves most of the credit.
To you, the people of Dresden, I hope this helps in some small way. And with each other’s and the Good Lord’s help, I believe you will continue to heal and rebuild and eventually step out from under the shadow of that terrible storm.