Tornado topples trees in Lebanon cemetery

Nashville Tornado

LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) – The tornado didn’t just hit homes and cars and topple trees. It also created damage at a Lebanon cemetery.

Wednesday afternoon, Lela Johnson was at Cedar Grove Cemetery in Lebanon.

She stood beside her husband’s headstone fighting back tears.

“Well, my heart’s broken,” Lela said.

Johnson was married to her husband Bedford Johnson for 69 years.
Bedford passed away 10 months ago and was laid to rest at Cedar Grove.

Lela says, “this is his rock, and I came out to see what’s going on. It breaks my heart, that tree is on old stones that been here for years.”

Lela tells news 2, she had hoped to spend summer afternoons by her husband’s gravesite, remembering him, under the shade of a nearby tree, that is now splintered and lying on its side.

Lela says, “and we were looking forward to this tree being here in the summer so we could have a sandwich and sit down and be out here.”

That will be more difficult now after Tuesday morning’s tornado rocked the cemetery.

The powerful winds topped trees, knocked down structures, ripped a roof off a crypt and tore off the cemetery sign.

“it was an act of God,” Samuel Crutcher, Cemetery manager said. “This is their final resting place for their loved ones and I think it is the emotional heart feelings they have knowing this is the last place they saw their loved ones and their tree on it. we are trying our best to get those quickly removed so they can have their gravesite like it was before,” Crutcher adds.

Lela says, “I’ve cried for 10 months and now this. But you know, so many people have so much unfortunate, we are blessed, people are usually blessed and these things happen and we don’t know why, but one day we will know why.”

Cemetery officials say clean up will take many more days. Then officials will detail the damage and hopefully raise capital to replace fallen trees and broken items.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of Super Tuesday tornado rebuilding and recovery.

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