Permanent memorial stands in Beauregard to honor lives lost in deadly tornadoes

Permanent memorial stands in Beauregard to honor lives lost in deadly tornadoes

BEAUREGARD, Ala. (WTVM) - East Alabama residents came together Thursday to visit a place that brings them back to the deadly tornadoes that tore through the region 18 months ago.

People said this site brings tears to their eyes.

This first layer honors the 23 victims who died during the storms March 3, 2019. The second layer is dedicated to the first responders and volunteers who came to put this community back together piece by piece.

On top, it reads Beauregard Strong.

“It’s so beautiful, Tyesha Hart said. “It gives me peace and solace.”

In the shadow of the cross, 23 names and pictures are etched into stone to remember the lives lost, just as they’re etched in our minds forever.

“I don’t know who came up with the idea, but it’s pretty,” Cora Jones said.

“The original thought here was to create something that would first of all be a memorial to those victims who were killed in the tornado, said Dr. Tom Smith from Providence Baptist Church. The second thing was to honor basically those people who came as first responders. And then the third aspect was to honor those who volunteered and gave of their time.”

Those whose loved ones are memorialized said it’s a bittersweet feeling. Bobby Kidd will be coming to see the site Thursday night with his family for the first time. His grandson AJ is the youngest picture featured.

“Seeing the picture, the name, the date will be hard because it brings back so much memories and so much emotion. But it’s positive to know he hasn’t been forgotten,” Kidd said.

Jones has nine family members honored, including her brother, father and mother.

“Me and my brother we were just in tears because it is so pretty,” she said.

For Hart, this will be a place she can come to remember her little girl Mykhayla.

“Her grave is actually in Loachapoka, so I can actually come here instead of go all the way down there and leave her nice flowers. It’s so beautiful. It’s so beautiful,” Hart said.

Next to the memorial is the never forget sign that stood at Providence Baptist Church in the aftermath of the storm. Now, the community has a place to make sure no one is forgotten.

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