The flood of 2011 unleashed a spirit and a determination unlike anything our community has ever seen. Ten years later, those feelings are still evident.
In 2011, throughout Minot, residents with space in their garage or basement stored items for those who were forced by a rampaging river to evacuate from their homes. If someone needed help moving items or cleaning up their property, a simple request brought help. Friends and neighbors helped each other. Total strangers went out of their way to help in any way they could, without a need for public praise or a desire to get credit or be rewarded. It isn’t always easy, but those are the stories and images we choose to keep fresh in our memories.
A decade later, that community spirit is alive and well. Minot remains a caring community, built with pride, but with a humble streak. Make no mistake about it: Our community takes care of its own when the need arises. The people of Minot are what have always made this community a great place to live. People. That’s what the event on June 26 is all about; that’s what it’s always been about.
The event in Oak Park is scheduled to include:
- A 5k run ending in Oak Park
- A memory walk through Oak Park featuring displays of photos and information from the flood of 2011 up to the present day
- Food trucks
- A variety of featured speakers
- Live music throughout the day
- A local commemorative beer by Atypical Barrelworks
- The unveiling of a mosaic mural commemorating the events of 2011
- The announcement of a Mouse River Flood Monument Project
- A panel discussion on the disaster and resilience
This day is not a celebration of the flood; instead we gather to celebrate ourselves, our resilience, and our steadfast commitment to protect those in harm’s way throughout the basin. While acknowledging one of the darkest times in Minot’s history, we choose not to dwell on the negative, but to focus on the personal friendships and community partnerships that have been created and strengthened in the past decade. As a community, we must learn from our history, but we must also keep our gaze firmly fixed on the future as we forge ahead to complete the largest and most important infrastructure project in Minot’s history.
On June 26, I invite you to gather in Oak Park as we reflect on where we were 10 years ago as a community, and, more importantly, where we’re headed. We’ve come a long way in 10 years, and though we have much work to do, I believe it’s time to take a moment to remind ourselves of what we’ve accomplished. We’ve made great strides toward a more secure future because of the dedication of our community and our partners on the local, state, and federal levels. We want to acknowledge those accomplishments, and the collaborations that have helped us navigate a decade of uncertainty.
We encourage our residents and those in surrounding communities to participate in this event, but we respect those who simply aren’t ready to join us. For some, memories of the flood are still too vivid, too fresh, and it’s too soon. We understand those sentiments, and we support everyone’s individual decisions on whether or not to attend on June 26.
The mission to protect the residents of the Souris River Basin from future flood events is a massive endeavor, but it is a challenge that we have willingly accepted. We cannot fail. The future of our community and the entire basin depends on our success.
Our future is the focus of the events on June 26. I hope to see you in Oak Park.
Sincerely, City Hall
You can find more about what’s happening at the City of Minot at minotnd.org, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. We’d also encourage you to sign up for our monthly electronic newsletter on our website.