LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - A ceremony was held Saturday for the donation of a crafted wooden American flag that paid tribute to the victims of April 12, 2020, Easter tornado outbreak, and to those who served to help in the aftermath.
The ceremony was held at the Laurel Veterans Memorial Museum.
Jason Saulpaw, the artist behind the wooden flag, created it to remind Jones County of the tornadic event and how the community came together to help and restore in the aftermath.
Saulpaw spoke at the event alongside PJ Weeks who is the pastor of First Baptist Church Soso.
“This flag was built as a gift for the community as a memorial for, not only those we lost, but as a reminder of the strength shown in a time of disaster,” said Saulpaw. “There was no color. There was no financial status. There was no political stance.”
“Obviously we saw the loss of life and destruction. But God’s grace through it all in bringing so many people, so many heroes, from our next-door neighbors to people down the road in other counties and other states. Really everybody seems like came to Jones County to help,” said Weeks.
Also in attendance were Jessica Hutchinson and her children, who saved their mother when she was injured during the storm, and the family of Patrick Hadley, an Alabama native who lost his life during clean up in the aftermath of the storm.
Law enforcement and many bikers came out to be a part of the event as well.