Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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April 16, 2014

Remembering West: Ceremony to mark first anniversary

Corsicana — In April 2013, the city of West was forever changed after an explosion at a fertilizer plant killed 15 people and altered the landscape of the tiny Texas town.

A year after that deadly blast, the city will stop to remember that fateful day and pay tribute to those who were lost, including Navarro County firefighter Perry Calvin, one of the first responders killed by the blast.

The 4/17 Forever Forward Committee in West is sponsoring the event, intended as a healing milestone for the extended West community and those most directly affected by the April 17, 2013 disaster.

The ceremony will be held at the CW Pavilion at the West Fair and Rodeo Grounds. It is expected to last about one hour. The actual ceremonies will begin at 7:30 p.m. A choir will begin with a live performance of selected songs around 7:15.

The first portion of the program will reflect on the losses suffered in the event, and will include prayers, songs and words of comfort.

At 7:51, there will be a minute of silence, marking the time the explosion actually occurred.

Following the time of silence will be a “State of the City Address” by Mayor Tommy Muska, a specially created video about rebuilding and recovery in West, and messages of hope and encouragement by Dr. John Crowder of West First Baptist Church and by Judge Ken Starr, President and Chancellor of Baylor University.

Prayers, including an invocation and benediction, will be offered by members of the West Area Ministerial Alliance, to include Father Ed Karasek of West’s St. Mary’s Church of the Assumption, the Rev. Jimmy Sansom of First Methodist Church of West, and the president of the Alliance,and by the Rev. Terry McElrath of Tokio Baptist Church. Music will be provided by the Baylor Singing Seniors and by the band Revere.

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