MT JULIET, Tenn. (WKRN) — As city and county leaders across Tennessee prepare to commemorate one year since an EF-3 tornado ripped through parts of the state, those in Mount Juliet and Wilson County honored the lives lost on March 3, 2020.
“Jim and Donna were real good friends for 38 years,” said Fred Weyler.
The 77-year-old found himself caught in the middle of that same tornado last year. His house was damaged like hundreds of others in middle Tennessee.
“I was about to press the button to open the garage door when it blew away,” Weyler said. “It blew away right in front of my face… I was in disbelief. I thought it might be the end of the world.”
His friends Jim and Donna Eaton, husband and wife, were killed that night. They had been married more than 50 years and were parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.
Brandy Barker was also killed that night. She was a 38-year-old mother of two.
Tuesday, the city of Mount Juliet and Wilson County held a candlelight vigil of remembrance and resilience. It was an event of prayer, song and healing.
“It was uplifting,” said Weyler. “You think about all the houses… that are not there, and you knew the people who lived in them, and your children grew up with their children. We’re still here though.”
See how hope has overcome heartbreak across the area. News 2 brings you special reports Tennessee Stronger: A Year of Recovery all day Wednesday in every newscast and on WKRN.com.