Vigil For Train Accident Victims

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January 6, 2006
As tears glisten in the candlelight , families cling to each other for healing. They also cling to God.

“We thank you God that you brought us together as one,” the pastor said, praying.

The pain is still very raw.

“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t cry because I miss him just that much,” said Bonnie Brown.

Doctors say Bonnie Brown’s brother, Leonard Mathis, died in April from inhaling the chlorine.

Sarah Kennebeck came from Atlanta for healing. Her son, John Laird, died on the day of the accident.

“He was so young. He had just started his life,” Sarah said.

Yes, pain is still present, but this community is also growing.

“The community actually has grown closer. We all have a common bond because we have lost loved ones,” Donna Ansley said.

Later in the morning, the people of Graniteville thanked law enforcement and government who worked so hard a year ago to keep them safe.

They’re looking for good these days, not forgetting, but pressing forward.

“It’s going to take time, but we will be back where we were and we will be stronger,” said Phil Napier, fire chief.

Another sign on growth, there’s talk of Graniteville consolidating with Valcuse and Warrenville and becoming a city.