A year later, the day was still filled with tears and hugs among neighbors who had endured much in the span of 12 months.
“We are gathering in a unified effort once again like we did a year ago,” Terry Chitwood said.
Chitwood is the music director at Chattanooga Valley Baptist Church. He gave his thoughts on the recovery and read Psalm 121: “I will lift up my mine eyes to the mountains, from where my help shall come.”
He was one of several residents who had to completely rebuild a home.
John and Susan Nightingale ordered trees and bushes to re-landscape the home that they have poured blood, sweat and many tears into.
They extended the generous deal they were receiving from Burkhart Farms Nursery in Ringgold to their neighbors.
Neighbors gathered by the assortment of trees on Saturday morning, April 28, embracing and discussing how they had become an even closer community than prior to the storms.
The Chattanooga Valley Presbyterian Church donated one Yoshino cherry tree for each of the homes in the subdivision.
The trees will replace dozens of ornamental pear trees that lined Eagle Landing Drive that were wiped out by the twister.
Gerald and Karen Collins made the donation announcement to the nearly 60 neighbors present.
Hundreds of splintered trees still remain across the landscape.
The cherry trees will bloom annually in late April, the same type that surrounds the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The neighbors, once again, helped each other in delivering the trees and digging holes for planting.
After the panting was completed the Nightingales held an open house for their friends and neighbors who helped during recovery.
The self-employed couple worked as a general contractor while rebuilding.
“What we had before was a house, but now we have a home,” Susan Nightningale said.
During the building process they wrote love letters to each other on the walls before completion.