By: Alex Crescenti | WCTV Eyewitness News
January 23, 2018
ADEL, Ga. (WCTV) -- Monday night, the community of Adel, Georgia honored seven people who were killed one year ago when a tornado tore through town, leaving dozens of lives changed forever.
Many people attending a candlelight vigil on Monday evening lost loved ones or homes in that tornado. It touched down in the middle of the night on January 22.
It was an emotional scene in front of the Cook County Courthouse as dozens gathered to remember the one year anniversary of that deadly storm.
Through the tragedy, one theme seemed to shine through, how a community came together.
"If we don't go through nothing, how can we make it to heaven? We're going to have sorrows and pains. So I just thank the lord for the time we had to spend with them," said Beverly Mays, who lost two children a year ago.
She was just one of the many in attendance with something to grieve.
"I'm just still remembering how we said we were going to grow up in the future having our houses next to each other, having the same cares," said Gabby Livingston, who lost her sister when she was at home as the tornado swept through.
"I just wish she was near me again, like to be together. We were really close," she said.
Through all the loss and heartbreak, friends, neighbors, and even strangers came together to show support and offer help.
"You still feel that resolve through relationships that were built and forged in that time that are still just as strong today," said Eric Gordon.
Those who lost everything say they found the closest and best friends after the storm.
"We had to rebuild our home and without the support of the community and people helping, we wouldn't have gotten it back to near what it used to be," said Lisa Surensy.
Some people told us you can never be 100 percent prepared for an event like last year, but there is one thing they are positive about; if something similar were to happen in the future, they know the city and community would come together once again.