I've tried to put into words how much it changed our entire graduating class, an entire school, but I can't. A tragedy like that isn't something easily explained, even four years later.
The following is an email I sent out the next day at school:
I can't even begin to describe school today. In my first period class, our teacher tried to tell us what happened to clear all the rumors, and she started bawling. One of the girls was in our class and although she has pretty bad injuries to her hips, she's having surgery this morning, she was the one who kicked out the emergency window and pulled out 8 to 10 girls. We all sat there in silence for about 35 minutes and then slowly started to talk, and cry, about things. As I sit here typing this, you can hear the clicking of keys sending out emails and searching for information, an Among Thorns CD and news casts from the computers and televisions we have in the room.Four years ago today, a bus crashed.
The halls are eerily quiet. You can hear some hushed conversations, but mainly all you hear is crying and the shuffling of feet. It's so sad that something like this had to happen, but it's slowly bringing us together as a school and that is an awesome thing!
What's even more amazing is the presence of God. Everybody is talking about Him, even the teachers. Text messages were going out like crazy! A girl put one on the chalk board in my 1st period class, and our teacher passed it on to the other teachers. It's really amazing how something that is not allowed to be talked about normally is so strongly present.
2 coaches came to talk to us and they said that most of the injuries were upper body injuries and a lot of people had road rash and really bad ant bites all over from laying in the grass. As of 12 midnight, there was only on girl who's arm they reattached and couldn't be saved. Only 6 girls are still at St. E and one is probably going home today or tomorrow.
All you can do in a time like this is pray, so I ask that you continue to pray for the girls families, their friends, and all of us here at West Brook. Pray that we can come together and get through this as a community and that God can start to heal some of the horrific pain we're all facing.
Four years ago today, we lost a classmate two months before graduation.
Four years ago today, a school was shaken to it's core.
Four years ago today, a community was brought together.
Four years ago today, the image of that overturned bus was burned into my brain.
Four years ago today, changed the lives of friends and family forever.
Four years ago today, is a day I will never forget.