Sympathy Fills Airwaves Over Oklahoma Tornado Destruction
A somber Tom Bergeron on Dancing with the Stars stated during Monday nights broadcast, “While we are having a celebration here, we want you to know that our thoughts are with everyone that has been affected by the devastating tornado in Oklahoma City. Thank you for being quiet doing this, I would however, ask you to applaude the amazing courage of the first responders on site."
National reaction to the killer tornado in Oklahoma has been immediate and heartfelt.
Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan spent the first eight minutes of their show talking about the tragedy.
Ripa said, “This is a lot of suffering for one community. When you think about the suffering of that area, this happened ot them, not too long ago."
On the Today show, co-hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb both have deep connections to Oklahoma
Gifford said, "You were born in Norman, Oklahama. I went to college in Tulsa. I have many, many friends in that area. That is the heartland of America."
The tornado impacted Monday night's primetime TV line-up. The season finale of the CBS comedy Mike & Molly was shelved because the episode dealt with a tornado in Chicago where the show is set.
In a statement, CBS said, "Due to the tragic events this afternoon in Oklahoma, we are pre-empting tonight's season finale of Mike & Molly, which has a related storyline." A rerun aired in its place.
Country superstar and Oklahoma native Carrie Underwood used the imagery of a massive tornado in a music video for her song "Blown Away." She tweeted, "Growing up in tornado alley, you always know what could happen. It doesn't change how devastating it is when something does happen.”
Singer Toby Keith was born and raised in Moore, Oklahoma. His name even appears on the town's giant water tower which remains standing today.
He said, “I used to ride my bike through those neighborhoods. I have family and friends in Moore.”
And on the red carpet in LA for The Hangover Part III, the music group Hanson reacted to the news from their home state, “Today is just a really, really sad day and we need a lot of people pitching in.”
Words of support are coming in from around the world. The Queen of England tweeted, “Our deepest sympathies go out to all those whose lives have been affected.”
And from Rome, prayers from Pope Francis, "I am close to the families of all who died in the Oklahoma tornado, especially those who lost young children. Join me in praying for them.”