Has there ever been such a week in River Forest? On Wednesday, the wrenching and uplifting funeral of Anne Smedinghoff, the native daughter of this village who gave her life in service to country. And then Thursday and forward, hundreds of residents coping with the rising floodwaters from the Des Plaines River and the intense storms.

Two altogether different and difficult challenges but both met with a powerful coming together that simply defines community in River Forest. From the rain-soaked locals lining the funeral procession route to honor Anne Smedinghoff to the local high school and college kids sandbagging along the river, here was visible proof that living in this village is a shared and treasured experience.

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