New memorial for 15 killed in 2011 tornado unveiled in Apison

APISON, Tenn. (WDEF) – Today the Apison community unveiled a new memorial for the 15 people that were killed in the 2011 tornadoes that ripped through the Tennessee Valley. The old memorial was destroyed after a car plowed through it.

Warren Oliver  says, “I saw the most terrible destruction all the homes that were destroyed and I couldn’t even comprehend.”

Oliver is talking about the destruction that rocked the entire Tennessee Valley. However, he is apart of the community of Apison where they lost 15 people… two of them were Oliver’s brother and sister in law.

“I just couldn’t believe that a tornado could do what it did on tearing families apart like it did. But it has really brought us together. And someday we will see our families again and it will be a wonderful reunion but this hear is bringing us all back together” says Oliver.

The families of some of the victims along with their community gathered at the tri community volunteer fire department to look back at a tough time in their town’s history and honor the families of those who lost their lives on April 27, 2011.

Many community officials were present as they unveiled the new memorial. This tree stands at the center of a teardrop and at the bottom is 15 leaves with the names of the victims. It is surrounded by pillars that also name with victims.

Chuck Fleischmann was also present and presented a flag to the community that has flown over the capitol… and it will soon fly over Apison, a community that he says he represents proudly.

Fleischmann says, “It was very sad and it was devastating, but the outpouring of support and unity in the community we saw the local state and federal governments come together, give together and we saw citizens come together, the churches come together out of a horrible tragedy came a great loving of our fellow citizens.”

Andrew Smith was serving our country when the storms hit, but he remembers returning home to the destruction. He believes this brought the community together more than ever.

“This meeting today is an example of that with the whole community coming together in memory of what happened here,” says Smith.

People from all over the scenic city helped the city rebuild the memorial, but they still owe a little money on it. People from all over the scenic city helped the city rebuild the memorial, but they still owe a little money on it.  They are accepting donations and you can reach out the Bill Hullender with the city if you would like to help out.

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