Veterans returning American flag rescued after storms hit Moore Medical Center

MOORE, Okla. – On the eve of Moore’s devastating EF-5 tornado, a survivor of sorts was revealed.

Many will admit there is a bit of anxiety surrounding this anniversary and this time of year, especially for those in Moore, but it’s nothing that is going to defeat them.

Rachel Swyear, a Moore resident, said, “The tornado picked it (my car) up from my driveway and sat in down on my neighbor’s house.”

It has been a long year for residents in Moore.

Swyear’s home was destroyed but she and many others in her neighborhood decided to rebuild.

She said, “It is home, but it’s so different.”

A tragedy which took everything they owned has oddly given them something new.

Rachel said, “We’re actually closer now than we were when it happened. We are a close knit community now and I love it.”

Many of the homes coming back now have shelters or safe rooms.

But the homes are not the only sign of survival.

Monday a new flag was raised over the Moore Medical Center.

It was brought to them by the local VFW.

Military veterans recovered the American flag that once flew over the medical center.

The flag once flew over Iraq, but will now remain in Moore.

The Moore Medical Center’s flag was taken by the tornado on May 20th last year.

It was thrown to the other side of the highway.

Richie Splitt, with Moore Medical Center, said, “There was a gentleman removing rubble from his backyard and discovered the flag.”

They were able to confirm through several signs that it was, in fact, the hospital’s flag.

However, it was too tattered to fly again.

The flag was preserved and unveiled on Monday.

Splitt said, “We thought it was important to bring it back and to have it displayed properly in the new structure.”

They hope it is a sign that this community will continue to move forward.

Rachel said, “As bad as it was, I think there was more good that came out of it.”

Rachel and others we spoke with in Moore say while they are glad to have now returned to their neighborhood, they do still struggle with the anxiety of this storm season and wondering when and where the next storm will hit.

Tomorrow the governor will join city leaders for a remembrance ceremony to honor the victims of last year’s storms.

They will also break ground on the new Moore Medical Center.