“We come from war; this reminds us, it touches the memory of that, where we’ve been and how we came here,” said Ganimete Ademi, a 46-year-old grandmother who fled Kosovo in 1999 during the war, in which she lost her uncle and a nephew. Now she looks around her own neighborhood. “I turn my memory back to 22 years ago,” she said.

The little red wagon was strewn upside down on a heap of rubble — a pile of boards and bricks, a mangled blue bicycle, a baby doll, AP reports from Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Behind it, there was little more than a hole in the ground where a house had stood. Across the street, the tidy homes on this cul-de-sac were reduced to mounds of lumber. Clothes hung from the branches of snapped trees. The walls of one house were gone, and the only thing left standing inside was a white Christmas tree.

When a tornado touched down in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in the middle of the night, its violence was centered on this friendly subdivision, where everyone waved at one another and giggling children spent afternoons tooling around on bicycles on the sidewalks. Fourteen people died in a few blocks, 11 of them on a single street, Moss Creek Avenue. Entire families were lost, among them seven children, two of them infants. Neighbors who survived are so stricken with grief they struggle to speak of it. All around them, amid the ruins, is evidence of the kids they used to watch climb off the school bus.

Melinda Allen-Ray has barely slept since early Saturday, when tornado alerts started screaming and she carried her grandchildren into the bathroom as winds whipped her house apart. After just minutes of destruction, there was silence. She went outside and heard her neighbors’ screams.

“I just think about all those babies,” she said.

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