Tuesday, February 28, 2017

March 1, 2007... Never Forgotten

10 years ago today, 9 people died when a deadly tornado went through Enterprise, Alabama.

March 1, 2007, will always be a date that is etched in our minds. I wasn't necessary there when it happened but my hometown is 30 minutes away from Enterprise. I remember that day like it was yesterday. Mainly because the tornado was headed towards Geneva, Alabama. My hometown. But at the last moment, it turned and headed towards Enterprise.

I was in the 5th grade when the tornado hit. I remember my teacher and the intern at the time was on their phones calling parents to pick up the kids. And to get there as fast as they could. They called my mother to pick up my brothers and I. The office also called my mother and my father at work.

I didn't go to PE that day because I was sent with other students to get my classmates when their name was called from PE. I also didn't eat lunch that day. My class didn't get a chance to go. Other classes were in the lunchroom and they were told to take their lunch with them when they left. Everyone was trying to get the students out and at home. The tornado was headed straight for us but at the last moment, it turned.

I remember getting back from going to the grocery store with my father and hearing that the tornado hit Enterprise. It destroyed a lot of places in Enterprise. It destroyed the high school where the students didn't have enough time to get out.

The students were in the hallways when the tornado hit. And I have heard stories and they are heartbreaking. Students were laying on top of each other to protect them. Teachers were throwing themselves on students. The tornado went through the high school in 40 seconds. In 40 seconds, 8 students lives were gone. 8 students that will never get to experience life again.

I've seen pictures and heard stories of people that were in the school that day. They said that the tornado ripped off the roof and it sounded like a freight train. I can only imagine what was going through the 8 students minds before they died. I bet they were so afraid.

Walls were falling in on them. Concrete walls to be exact. People were bleeding and bodies were being pulled from the rubble. Everyone was shaking because it happened so fast. Sirens were going off and then the power went out. When the power went out, the school started shaking and the roof was being pulled off of the school. Students, teachers, parents, and faculty were huddled in offices and hallways away from windows with heads down to prevent injuries.

After the tornado, noninjured students were sent to Hillcrest Baptist Church down the street to wait for their parents. This was the moment where lives were changed forever. They had a roll and they started calling out students names so they could answer and their parents would know that they were okay. For 8 parents, their lives were changed forever. Their child's names were called out but there was no answer. This is heartbreaking because these parents talked to their students before school. They didn't think that that would be the last time that they would talk to them or tell them that they loved them.

This tornado brought Enterprise together for clean-up. Every city in Alabama was praying for them and donating stuff. Memorials and candlelight services were happening all over Alabama. I know that we had a memorial set up at the Elementary school and we were donating money and supplies.

If you are wondering, they did rebuild Enterprise High School but it was not built in the same location. It is a couple of blocks over from the school. EHS is absolutely amazing but it does include some materials that were salvaged from the older school.

What is in the old location?
Nothing is there. There is just a blank area. The old football stadium is still there.

EHS wasn't the only building that was damaged. Hillcrest Elementary School was also damaged. They rebuilt that school also. It is still in the same area. Hillcrest Baptist Church also took damage to the roof when the tornado hit.

Including the 8 students that were killed, an elderly was also killed by the storms in her house. We still remember these people and pray for their families daily.

That is not the only tornado that has gone through Alabama. There was the huge April 27th tornado that tore through Tuscaloosa and killed several lives. Tornadoes are unpredictable things and we should all be prepared for them.

I can only imagine what everyone was feeling. And the thing is that we don't know when our last day is going to be. Only God does. We should live our life to the fullest every day because we never know when it is going to be our last.

Right now, I am going to share some photos of the damages that Enterprise endured. These photos are really sad and I start crying when I see them. I have friends that live in Enterprise and I know people that were in the high school when this happened. March 1, 2007, will always be on my mind.
EHS after the tornado hit.

The tornado in Enterprise.

One of the high school buildings after it was hit.

EHS Never Forgotten March 1, 2007.

Enterprise High School after the tornado.

EHS now after being rebuilt on another piece of land.

EHS and surrounding area after tornado.

EHS sign after tornado.

EHS and surrounding area.

One of the buildings on EHS campus.

Here are some bible verses that I wanted to include with this post. I want you to remember that God loves you and cares for you. Even through the hard times.

Trust in the Lord with all your hear and lean not on your understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 24:4 

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4 

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

I also wanted to share this video tribute with y'all too.

Tomorrow I am wearing the school colors, blue and white to remember the 8 students that their lives were lost in this tornado. Praying for the students and families today and always on this day. 

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