SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- Even with all the victory banners on the wall at Cardinal Newman High School, students and staff will never celebrate more than they did Monday.
Fifteen weeks after the North Bay Firestorm destroyed half their campus, faculty, staff, and 600 students reunited today. They are whole, again.
"We're a close community. Closer even now," a quote that could be attributed to pretty much anyone on campus, Monday.
"It's life," they also said.
One-sixth of Cardinal Newman High School Students lost their homes. "Would you have made it through without this community?" I asked one of them.
"No," she said.
"Would Cardinal Newman have made it this far without you?"
On a campus surrounded by a neighborhood of burned homes and wreckage, Cardinal Newman has brought in temporary classrooms, thanks to $450,000 in donations by families, churches, and other Catholic High Schools across California.
Until October, trial by fire was never on the curriculum. In retrospect, it may provide most lasting lesson. If tragedy knocks you down, get up, dust yourself off, and move ahead.
Not a miracle. An object lesson.
Click here for a look at more stories and videos about the North Bay fires.