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Reading an article from the Asahi Shimbun using Rikaikun, I'm trying to formulate a good translation for the first sentence:

ある所で起きたことを、地名とともに象徴的に表す言葉がある。 → {Upon Waking?}, along with the place name, there is a symbolic meaning.

The writer goes on to talk about the events after the Great Kanto Earthquake and a group of kids that took the initiative to find shelter, and some guy's wife whom he thought was missing and it was hard to bear.

Most of the article is easy for me to understand, but I am having trouble with that very first half. I usually see 起きた as "having woken up" or the like, does it mean here "to have happened" ?

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起きた happened
起きたこと what happened
起きたことを表す言葉 a word that describes what happened

ある所で起きたことを、地名とともに象徴的に表す言葉がある。
There is a word that, along with a place name, symbolically describes what happened there.

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