WEST, Texas -- The people of West, TX observed a moment of silence Thursday at 7:51 p.m.
That’s the moment the West fertilizer plant exploded on April 17, 2013. It destroyed homes, schools and even lives one year ago.
“We lost twelve of the finest and bravest individuals that any community ever possessed,” a local pastor announced to the crowd of more than a thousand attending a memorial service Thursday night in West.
“You never think that something like this is going to happen in your backyard, and I’ll always remember where I was on April 17, 2013 and it’ll be forever scarred in my memory,” said West resident Chris Lott.
Lott had several friends who were killed in the explosion. He’s lived in this city his entire life. The street where he lives is right next to the former fertilizer plant.
One year after the explosion, many of the homes have been repaired and rebuilt. There are still signs of damage on many streets close to the blast, and homes that are being rebuilt from the ground up.
“Everybody wanted to start as soon as possible, try to get back some normalcy,” said Lott.
“Rise Up” is the theme in West. That theme was celebrated by hundreds Thursday night.
Even though Lott says the memories of what happened will never fade, “There’s always going to be some scars,” it’s a new day for West, forever pushing forward.