Rosalie holds memorial service for tornado victims one year later

Updated: Nov. 30, 2017 at 10:48 PM CST
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ROSALIE, AL (WAFF) - Residents in the Jackson County town of Rosalie gathered to remember the devastation of a tornado that struck the town one year ago.

It started out with song and prayer, which has gotten this community through it as they remembered that dreadful day on Nov. 30, 2016.

"There was people from the community that had damage to their homes that was out putting tarps on other homes before they were taking care of their own," says Jason Heard with the Rosalie Rescue Squad.

Three churches and numerous homes were destroyed.

"When I was able to come down and survey the situation, I was as overwhelmed, as I've been in a long, long, time," said retired Rosalie Church of God pastor Al Johnson.

More importantly, three people - Justin and April Wright along with Jessica Fleming - lost their lives as family and friends remembered them.

"You had to be strong because she would come running at you with a big ole hug and she hugged you with all that she had and all that she was," said Dawn Osborne with Macklin Baptist Church.

But after a year healing has begun and lives are trying to get back to normal. Three churches were destroyed, but a year later, two have been rebuilt and a commitment of the community to come together for the future.

"The future for Rosalie is the strongest probably and the most promising that there ever has been," said Johnson.

"We are Rosalie strong. We always have been and we always will be," said Heard.

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