Remembrance and regrowth

From staff reports

A community memorial service on Sunday, May 11 at Louisville High School remembered the 10 Winston County residents killed in an April 28 tornado.
Rep. Michael Evans who headed up some parts of the search and rescue opened the program and noted, “this is about victories and losses.”
He noted the loss of life but also so many who survived. He explained that no matter the preparation people could not have prepared been prepared for this tornado.

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He added that as one of the persons who found Ruth Bennett dead but grasping the child to save her showed the true spirit of courage.
Congressman Gregg Harper delivered the keynote address.

Congressman Harper speaking to the crowd

Congressman Harper speaking to the crowd

Harper focused the devastation and loss but noted that neighbors, the state and the federal government would be working together to make Winston County stronger.
He added that he was amazed by all that has been done in a short time but knew it would be long process.
“Remember in the days to come that we do care for one another. Keep that spirit of community,” said Harper.

Louisville Mayor Will Hill also spoke at the service.
stated that “April 28 was a day of tragedy.”
“It stripped us of our possessions and life itself,”said Hill. “Together we will grieve and together we will grow from this tragedy. Sorrow is guaranteed in life.”
Hill added, “True communities come together no matter the differences prior to such a tragedy. This community has been impacted and will be better for the life lived (by those who were lost).”
“We must grow from the experience and grow closer together and grow stronger,” said Hill.
State Senator Giles Ward who introduced Mayor Will Hill noted that “Hill has shown his remarkable leadership skills and the county owes him a debt of gratitude.” Ward lost his home in the tornado as well.
Robert Latham, MEMA director for over nine years and who has seen 15 presidential disasters said that it never gets easy but “the resiliency of our people is great.” He noted that the hearts of the Governor and First lady were with Winston County.
“Our hearts and our resources are here to help,” Latham noted the Governor had sent as a message..
All 10 victims were recognized during the service with each family receiving a rose and vase signifying their loss.
Funerals for all 10 victims have already been held.