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Spirit putting our community back together

We are damaged, but not broken.

Our Wolverine spirit is strong!

Some 30 years ago, Max Cleland wrote a book, "Strong at the Broken Places." Cleland, a triple amputee the result of a grenade explosion in Vietnam (later Secretary for Veterans Affairs in the Carter Administration and senator from Georgia) made the point in that book and in keynote speeches around the country back then that "Adversity causes some to break and others to break records." I recall the book's title and focus (and that quote in particular), and think about how "Strong at the Broken Places" so aptly characterizes Wadena-Deer Creek-Bluffton's range of responses to crisis on multiple fronts.

One would be hard put to overstate the brokenness of "things" in our community, but I cannot help but be taken, indeed humbled, by the strength of people in this community who, in the midst of all this brokenness, have been tireless in determination to put it all back together, socially, emotionally and physically. From the moment the tornado lifted, people came out of their basements and began taking care of one another and business. At the risk of drawing parallels between our disaster and a range of disasters that have made the national news in recent years. Wadena, Deer Creek and Bluffton community members, much to their credit, did not congregate at the junction of U.S. Highways 10 and 71 waiting for help to arrive. To the contrary. They dug in -- and out -- figuratively and literally. Wadena and the surrounding area seem not to have lost this country's spirit.

In closing, Wadena-Deer Creek Schools will begin school as scheduled on Tuesday, Sept. 7. Our teachers and staff will welcome our students back with unwavering Wolverine spirit. Furthermore, we are coordinating with M-State to accommodate our 9-12 grade students and researching other locations within the district to house our seventh and eighth grade students. On behalf of the WDC School Board, administrators, teachers and staff, we are looking forward to a great school year -- one with new possibilities!