BOLIVAR, TN (abc24.com) - Even though the Bain family will never be the same, the entire community is calling the girls' safe return a miracle.
For the nearly two weeks green ribbons at 8-year-old Kyliyah Bain's school have represented hope, now they're a symbol of celebration.
Kyliyah's principal, Bobby Doyle, smiles now every time he sees the green ribbon. "We are all wearing our green ribbons," he says.
The giant green bows on the doors of Bolivar Elementary were a sigh of relief Friday May 11, instead of the somber reminder they once were. Doyle says, "Last night I was home eating dinner and the news broke and I couldn't believe it when I saw it. How excited my wife and I were, I called my staff and we began our celebration last night."
While the elementary school celebrated, Bolivar Central High School began its last day, remembering the one daughter who didn't survive, 14-year-old Adrienne. Adrienne's principal, Fred Kessler, says, "We had a prayer vigil led by the students this morning outside our campus, the students and community have supported each other to get through it together."
Hardeman County School's social worker, Emily Thompson, has visited all three of the girl's schools repeatedly over the last two weeks. "Earlier in the week we had to go to the High School and we supported kids grieving the loss of their friend," she says. "This week I've been going to each school checking on kids making sure everybody is okay. Today they're great, so happy their friends have come home and are safe."
With the nightmare over, Thompson warns the road to recovery for Alexandria and Kyliyah will be a long one. "I can't even imagine what they have gone through; I wouldn't even know where to begin." She says the key will be counseling. "It's extremely important. They don't need to hold their feelings inside. What they've gone through is a traumatic event. They need to express those feelings in a safe environment."
Now that the girls are home, students and teachers are anxious to be part of their healing.