The wind came as the weatherman predicted. It shook Macon County so hard, that when I stood outside on the porch, I could actually feel the vibrations of the deadly twister that tore through the outskirts of the Lafayette city limits exactly one year ago, February 5th, 2008, leaving in it’s aftermath a trail of death and destruction twenty miles long.
On the one year anniversary of the deadly wrath of Mother Nature, that took 14 lives, destroyed hundreds of homes and scattered sacred possessions for miles around, County Mayor Shelvy Linville, welcomed friends, neighbors, and tornado survivors to the commemorative ceremony last Thursday night, to honor those who lost their lives during this tragic time.
“One year ago tonight, a massive tornado swept across Macon County leaving death and destruction in its wake,” said Mayor Linville. “I am proud of the way this community responded to this horrific event with everyone pulling together.”
“All the first responders, including Mark Gammons and the Macon County Sheriff’s Department, Chief Jerry Dallas and the Lafayette PD, Rescue Squads, EMS, and 911 all performed magnificiently. Macon County General Hospital as well as city and county officials all pulled together in the aftermath of this disaster and the National Guard, Tennessee Highway Patrol, FEMA and TEMA also rushed to our aid.”
“Volunteers, even from other counties and states came to help,” Linville continued. “Friends were helping friends, neighbors were helping neighbors, and the community came together like never before.”
“The entire world could learn a lesson from the example that was set here in Macon County.”
“We’ve come a long way,” said Linville, “since February 5th, 2008, “in terms of cleaning up the debris, rebuilding homes and trying to rebuild our lives. Unfortunately, some of you lost more than others.”
“This memorial service is a special occasion in the lives of Macon Countians” Linville said, “to commemorate this tragic event and to let the tornado victims know that the people of Lafayette haven’t forgotten them. “We want to show our appreciation to everyone, and to hopefully help put lives back together so we can move ahead.”
“I will never forget,” added Macon County Sheriff Mark Gammons, “how Macon County pulled together and worked together to bring this community back, in the wake of such a terrible disaster and this ceremony is definitely a special moment for all involved.”
“It was a team effort,” he explained “and it took people from all over the county, the state and out of state, and we’d like to thank everyone for their support.”
“And in conclusion,” Mayor Linville said, “continue to depend on God, keep the faith, and He will help you through this tough time.”
“God bless each and everyone of you.”