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Xenia Remembers 35 Lost in Deadly Tornado
XENIA -- Survivors on Thursday remembered all those lost 40 years ago to a killer tornado.
The massive 1974 twister leveled everything in its path. It destroyed homes and businesses, and killed 35 people.
"I understand tears were really flowing from a lot of people and it's especially very sensitive to read the names of the children and newborns," Mayor Marsha Bayless said Thursday.
Thursday's emotional standing-room-only crowd proved that even 40 years later memories of that fateful day are still vivid.
"It might be 40 years but its still hard for us to talk about," Xenia's Ken Marlin explained with tears in his eyes.
Ken and Cindy Hatfield's sister Joy was 22 years old and eight months pregnant when the tornado took her life. Hers is a story remembered not just by family, but an entire community during Thursday's ceremony. For some it was the first time hearing the stories, for others it was a vivid retelling.
"Beautiful day, then all of sudden it turned dark and ugly," said Oscar Robinson, who was 12 years old when he lost his father in the tornado. "It's a great feeling know people care and still remember. There are those tough days but everything is all right, everything's all right."
Folks leaned on each other to say everything is all right and Xenia lives on.
The F-5 tornado that hit Xenia was part of a super outbreak of storms across several states. There were 148 confirmed tornadoes that killed more than 300 people.
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