MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WALA) - On Friday morning, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley held a solemn memorial service in honor of the 253 lives that were lost statewide in last year's tornadoes.
A woman led the group in prayer saying, "Gracious and loving God, we gather this morning to remember. To remember the events of one year ago today."
253 people died last year in a tornado outbreak in Alabama.
People with dreams, hopes, and plans. But plans are not etched in stone and now those 253 people are etched in our memories.
On Friday morning, Governor Bentley joined other state and cleanup officials to take a moment aside and remember the victims of last year's tornadoes.
Governor Bentley said, "We want to remember them a year later, but we don't want to quit remembering them. And we want to continue to work with those families as we go through this long recovery."
One year after the tragedy, it's quite easy to relegate these victims to simply a list of names. But sometimes you need a more visual reminder.
So the capitol lawn was filled with 253 Alabama flags. Each flag symbolized a life, a friend, a family member that was snatched from this life in the storm. This ceremony stressed that it's important to never forget them.
Governor Bentley said there are discussions taking place about a more permanent memorial to the victims.
Tommy Puckett helped in the cleanup and said, "We're still there and not waiting 'til the next disaster that comes along and then forget them. Much like what happened after Hurricane Ivan. When Katrina hit, everybody forgot about the survivors of Ivan."
Governor Bentley stressed that this tragedy impacted more than one city, it destroyed a massive stretch of towns and communities across the state. Bentley said the state will boldly move forward, without forgetting who was lost.
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