On the afternoon of September 11, we checked into Jyoti Sharp’s guesthouse and though it was raining, we were excited to begin our much anticipated month long stay in Jamestown. Family and friends were scheduled to join us beginning that coming Monday and we were so pleased to be able to host them in such a nice house.
As the rains continued and the creek became more angry and turbulent that night, we quickly realized our vacation was washing away. But our loss was so minor compared to what you were experiencing and the devastation of the Jamestown community. Each of you was coping with extreme personal and emotional loss and sadness, but you quickly opened your arms to us and adopted us into the Jamestown family. Even though we were complete strangers, you reached out to give us reassuring hugs and encouragement. You made sure we were safe, dry, fed, and had a place to sleep as we progressed first to Colleen and Mark Williams’ home, to the elementary school, and finally to Bob and Flo Leyva’s home. You then made sure we were on the first evacuation helicopter. Our hearts ached to leave so many behind in such extreme destruction and loss.
However, out of all the devastation, good things do rise. During our 48 hours in Jamestown we met the most wonderful and caring people and made new friends. We experienced the “best of humanity” as you banded together providing help not only to us but also each other. We were and remain to be very impressed with how quickly you organized utilizing everyone’s skills and expertise first to ensure safety and then to begin your long and very hard process of recovery. Since returning home to Arlington, VA, we continue to monitor the progress of your rebuilding efforts through your Jamestown website and Quick Topics. While it is impossible to adequately say “thank you” for all that you did for us, we made a contribution to the Rebuild Jamestown fund. We think of you daily and look forward to returning to Jamestown and again seeing the wonderful, caring, and kind people who live there.
With extreme gratitude and great respect,
Virginia and Ted Krohn