We will rise. We are strong. We will heal. We are here.
Harrisburg community members held up signs of three-word phrases Sunday in front of the strip mall that was leveled by a Feb. 29 EF4 tornado.
Heather King, born and raised in Harrisburg, said she watched Good Morning America’s “Your 3 Words” segment, where viewers can send in videos of themselves holding a sign of three words to describe their lives. Examples include a couple with a sign that read “Having a baby” or military spouses and their children saying “I miss you.”
King, a mother of three, said she didn’t have time to volunteer for cleanup, but she knew she wanted to help somehow.
“I thought, ‘You know what? Let’s take this segment over,’” she said. “Harrisburg is still here and these are the three words of our life. We may have been knocked down, but we’re getting back up.”
King said she started a Facebook group for the event and had about 239 attendees on the page. The group was much smaller than the Facebook count, but she said she was happy with the amount of people who showed up.
Attendees wore white and purple shirts and held signs with the three-word phrases. One group had a sign that read “We will rise,” and another group’s read “We will rebuild.” Two other small groups had signs with the phrases “We are strong” and “We will heal.”
After each group took turns shouting its phrases into the camera, everyone joined together and shouted “We are here.”
Jennifer Osman, tornado victim Mary Osman’s granddaughter, attended the event. She said she’s known King since she was 3 years old and wanted to give back to the community.
“We don’t have anything to rebuild or redo, but everyone else does,” she said. “There were so many people that were there for us that we have to do something.”
George and Nancy Glass, Harrisburg residents, said they heard about the event on Facebook and decided to come. Nancy Glass said they were in Hawaii when the tornado hit and, though it didn’t harm their home, it was hard to hear about the damage from so far away.
King said she contacted Harrisburg Mayor Eric Gregg and he attended the event for support. She also had a bake sale going with friends for donations toward the Harrisburg cause. King said she had not contacted Good Morning America yet, but she plans to call after she submits the video for the segment.