SMITHVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) – Sunday was an emotional day for the city of Smithville. Ten years ago a tornado tore a path of destruction through the city. On Sunday the city paused to remember the day life changed for many residents.
“Its a struggle,” Kimberly Denton said. “Not just on April 24 or April the 27.”
Ten years later and Kimberly Denton still remembers the day that changed her life forever.
“Its never easy losing anyone,” Denton said. “But losing your sister takes it to a whole different level.”
On April 27, 2011 a tornado struck Smithville killing 16 people including Kimberly’s sister. On Sunday, the community remembered those victims in a memorial. The memorial started in Smithville high school where the mayor, former mayor, and WTVA’s Matt Laubhan remembered the day. From there the remembrance service continued in the Smithville memorial park.
“It means a lot to know they are not forgotten,” Bridget Lee said.
Like Kimberly, the Lee/Denton family also lost a loved one the night of the tornado. The memorial helped them remember their loved one.
“It makes us feel like we are not alone,” Karen Knight said. “No one has forgotten our mom, everybody loved granny.”
As for Kimberly, the ten year remembrance service just showed her how strong the Smithville community is.
“If it wasn’t for the love and support of the community and especially my close community that I work with, I couldn’t get through every day,” Denton said.
Former mayor Greg Kennedy said the community came together to rebuild and Smithville is a testament to their determination.