The shocking events at Ivel Monday morning, when an explosion destroyed five homes in the Rolling Acres subdivision, left all of us stunned and gave us reason to pause and reflect on how tragedy can strike when least expected.
The clouds of smoke overhanging the scene of the disaster seemingly come with no silver lining, other than that the carnage was not more severe. However, we can find reasons to be thankful, and chief among these is that, whenever such events happen, there are those among us who rise to the occasion and set their fears, even concerns for personal safety, aside to help their neighbors.
Most notable among these is Kentucky State Police Trooper Rick Conn. A resident of Rolling Acres, Conn was driving by when he was injured by the blast. Despite this, he still found the strength to escape his vehicle and go to the aid of a mother trying to flee the flames with her child. Only after the mother and child were safe did Conn collapse from his own injuries.
Words are woefully inadequate to describe such sacrifice, or to express the admiration an entire community feels for Conn because of his actions. It is easy to label Conn a hero, only to feel the term inappropriate because of its overuse on so many other occasions.
But while Conn's actions are certainly the most striking, there were others who rose to the challenge Monday presented and proved their mettle in the face of adversity. We think of the emergency workers, the police and firefighters who rushed to the scene of this hellish inferno and delivered what assistance was possible. We also think of the doctors and other hospital personnel who even now are treating the wounded and saving lives. Finally, we think of the relief agencies that did not waste a minute before offering their services to help the victims overcome their loss.
If asked, all of these people would probably say they were just doing their jobs. The rest of us are glad they are there to do them.
Yes, it is shocking, and deeply troubling, to be reminded of the fragility of life, of how an otherwise ho-hum Monday morning can be ripped apart in an instant by forces unseen and unexpected.
But there is also comfort in the knowledge that when such tragedy does occur, help is not too far away.
- The Floyd County Times