Ocracoke Island's Independence Day "parade" was a solemn affair this afternoon. There were only a few entries (a couple of fire trucks, a few horses, one antique automobile, and several other vehicles), and everyone was subdued. But at the NPS parking lot Joyce Reynolds, pastor of the Ocracoke United Methodist Church, spoke briefly about the grief and loss from yesterday's explosion, the island's sense of community, and the bravery and dedication of our volunteer fire fighters, emergency medical technicians, doctors, nurses, and other responders . Sam Garris, pastor of the Ocracoke Assembly of God, read a passage of scripture and offered a brief prayer. Sundae, Jamie, & Gary led the gathering in singing the National Anthem, and, later, God Bless America.
Volunteers passed around a fire fighter's boot to collect donations for the families of the five workers who died or were injured in the explosion Saturday morning. There has been so much to think about in the last thirty-two hours that no local organized effort has yet surfaced to provide assistance to the one survivor and the families. When I learn of a fund or an address to which to send donations I will post it here. I understand that the lone survivor is now listed in fair condition.