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Memorial unveiled honoring lives lost in 2017 Cook County tornado

Video from WALB
Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 9:32 PM EST
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - A memorial now stands in front of Cook County’s courthouse, honoring the lives lost, those who lived through it and for the future generations to never forget the tornado that blew through the area four years ago.

A teardrop and a sunrise, representing loss but also a new beginning.

Memorial unveiled in Cook Co.
Memorial unveiled in Cook Co.(WALB)

The monument that stands recalls the events that took place and list the names of those whose lives were taken.

Holly Adkins and her family lost two loved ones at the same time, Lawansa Denise Perry and Adrian Lamar Mays.

“My sister and brother, they were my only brother and sister. It’s just different, not having a brother or a sister around you know, we grew up together,” said Adkins.

Holding back tears, an emotional time she doesn’t want to remember.

Adkins says she misses all the special moments shared and says things haven’t been the same without them around.

“I always want to thank the community but by thanking them, it seems like it’s real and it really did happen. And sometimes I just try to block that out of my mind and block this moment out of my mind here but it’s still an honor and a blessing on how the community came together,” said Adkins.

Adkins is grateful that the community wants to keep their memory alive.

A memory that the entire community will always carry with them.

Sharon Harnage and Pat Bush are part of the Centennial Committee, they oversaw this project.

Both were involved during the tornado relief efforts.

They say it took over two years to make this memorial happen, but they’re glad to have made it possible.

“To be able to live through it and the suggestion given to us to build a monument and be able to work through all that. It’s really a very warm feeling,” said Bush.

“I feel like we marked their place in history as well,” said Harnage.

Memorial unveiled in Cook Co.
Memorial unveiled in Cook Co.(WALB)

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