Stars of Hope

I was born and raised in the Gatlinburg area and reside in Sevierville. It has taken me a while to even want to venture into the burnt and scarred areas of Gatlinburg since the fires, but today I decided to do so. As I drove through Chalet Village, the hardest hit area, I was overcome with the feeling of not belonging. The bareness of the area, seeing absolutely nothing but a driveway, gave me chills. But then I started noticing these stars nailed on trees by empty lots once full of life. They were handmade stars of hope. Each on had a motivational quote or word: love, keep smiling, life is a gift, you can do it. And then I got chills all over again, every star I saw…

I have seen countless photos of the destroyed area. But nothing prepares you for seeing it in person.

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