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'We saw that our house was broken': The resilience of Elon's children after the tornado

Elon schoolmates and friends pose for a photo after sharing their stories about the tornado that destroyed their homes.

ELON, Va. (WSET) -- By the looks on their smiley, playful faces, you would never know a tornado destroyed many Elon Elementary School students' homes.

"It's like, it's only a house," said Zac Cooper, 7, who gladly provided a tour of the exterior of his storm-damaged home, reflecting on what happened.

"Mommy and me were sitting right there. My daddy didn't know where we were." he said, pointing at the front door, then to a neighbor's home in the distance. "He looked out there, and their house was gone: the Childresses."

The tornado left a mark on everyone, and on some of the most vulnerable: the children.

"One side is still standing, and the other is not," Zac said.

Eliza Fink, 7, remembers taking cover in her family's basement.

"Dad says,"Hang out downstairs, 'cause you don't want to get hit do you?" she recalled.

Her sister, Millie, also weighed in.

"We sat under there on the wet floor," she said, before describing what happened when they left the basement. "We saw that our house was broken."

They're all thankful for all the big folks who have helped out.

"All of them came and picked up all the insulation in the yard," said Zac.

"It was really nice when they gave us stuff," said Millie.

The storm's devastation is overshadowed by the resilience of Elon's children and their positive outlook.

"It's gonna be a new house, and it's gonna be like new rooms and prettier," Zac said.

"It weighs on them a little bit, but every day that goes by, they get a little bit better," said his dad, Michael Cooper.

The grown ups said everyone can learn a thing or two from the children, who have brought a piece of Heaven down to Elon at a time when it's needed most.

"Their whole attitude has changed, their happy, their bouncing around," said Gary Fink, Eliza and Millie's dad.

The kids now have their own stories to tell and lessons that will last a lifetime.

They're also sharing their stories at school, where counselors and teachers are giving them extra support.

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