Monday, May 12, 2014

Winston County Memorial for Tornado Victims- a Time to Grieve, Be Grateful and to Grow

Left- JROTC presents the colors. Top- Tracy
MCully sings National Anthem - Bottom -
crowd applauds 1st responders/volunteers
Winston County and Louisville honored the victims of the April 28
tornado with a memorial service on Sunday.  Local and state leaders participated in the public program at the Louisville High School auditorium as the community recognized those lost with a simple rose ceremony for each victim and the ringing of a bell.

State Representative Michael Ted Evans welcomed the public to the ceremony with brief details of the events of April 28. The opening prayer was conducted by Reverend William Haynes, the JROTC presented the colors and Tracy McCully sang the national anthem for the crowd of several hundred.

State Senator Giles Ward provided introductions of Mayor Will Hill, Robert Latham of MEMA and U.S. Congressman Gregg Harper who provided the keynote message.

Mayor Hill provided a message of community, recognizing that we are here to remember the lives of ten individuals lost in this disaster and stating that this community will grieve together, be grateful together and grow together. Hill said, "A true community is one that comes together in the midst of grief and struggle."

Hill thanked those from outside the community for their outpouring of help and specifically thanked the Mayor of Smithville, Ms., Gregg Kennedy, who provided information and assistance to the City of Louisville in the last few days. (Smithville was ravaged by an EF5 tornado in 2011)
Top- Congressman Harper addresses the crowd
left- family members as victims recognized
Right- crowd pays respect

MEMA Director Robert Latham spoke on behalf of Governor Bryant and read a letter from the Governor promising to be with the community as homes and the hospital are rebuilt.

Congressman Harper indicated that much of the federal delegation including  Harper, Nunnelee, Wicker and Cochran traveled to areas hit by storms across Missisippi on Wednesday, April 30. "Nothing could prepare us for what we saw in Louisville and Winston County" said Harper. "Ten precious lives were lost here in Winston County and our federal delegation is dedicated to make sure that all that can be done will be done."

The memorial concluded with a memorial prayer by Reverend James Young and Reverend Mason Joy read the names of each victim as family members placed a rose in a vase and accepted a resolution passed in the Mississippi Senate recognizing their loved one. Rick Nance played Taps and Reverend Ben Pittman closed with a prayer and benediction.