West residents begin healing process at memorial service

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by Kevin Reece / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on April 19, 2013 at 11:45 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 24 at 11:17 AM

WEST, Texas - People gathered for a church service Friday night in honor of those lost in the fertilizer plant explosion this week.

Many said it was another step toward healing for the small town, so badly shaken. There will be, in the next few weeks, 14 funerals in this small town. vIt was standing room only inside St. Mary’s Catholic Church. West residents and emergency personnel stood and sang side by side - looking for answers and a sense of peace. After the service, some of them told explain that is exactly what they found.

“I think this was healing for the whole city…,” said Shirley Wheeler.

But there are images and unchangeable facts that will haunt this small town for some time.

“I think the fact that we don’t know who all we’ve lost,” Tommy Wheeler said. “I don’t know who of my friends might have been in that neighborhood.”

One of the firefighters killed was Annette Cook’s friend whom she has known all her life.

“It’s been horrible. I don’t think I’ve slept much since it happened,” Cook said.

But a church service where they could all grieve together helped. Now they wait for police to give the all clear to return to their homes.

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