A candle light memorial service 6 p.m. Wednesday at Southeastern Illinois College was well attended by about 70 citizens and students.
Originally planned as an outdoor event, the ceremony was driven indoors by inclement weather. It marked the one year anniversary of the Feb. 29, 2012, Leap Day Tornado.
Speakers included: Dr. Jonah Rice, Southeastern Illinois College president; Katie A. Clayton, student government president; Eric Gregg, Harrisburg mayor and Becky Mitchell, Ridgway mayor.
Gregg said, "I carry the names of those we lost with me every day and into every meeting. I do this to remember that I have to do my best for them, for their families and for the thousands of people who picked us up when we were knocked down.
"I encourage you to do your best."
Mitchell said, "Just look at the friends around you. Give them a hug and let them know just how much they are treasured. Give thanks to God for providing us with true friends."
Jaylynn Ferrell, Donna Rann, Randy Rann, Mary Osman, Linda Hull, Greg Swierk, Donald Smith and R. Blaine Mauney all lost their lives in the Feb. 29, 2013 storm.
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