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Lubbock Tornado Memorial dedication marks 51st anniversary

Lubbock Tornado Memorial dedication to mark 51st anniversary.
Lubbock Tornado Memorial dedication to mark 51st anniversary.(Michael Cantu)
Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 3:26 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Tuesday marks 51 years since an F-5 tornado devastated much of Lubbock and killed 26 people. To mark the anniversary, a dedication ceremony was held at the Lubbock Civic Center.

The ceremony was originally planned to take place at the memorial near the 700 block of Ave. Q but was changed due to inclement weather. The dedication started at 10 a.m. The city provided shuttles so people can get to the memorial.

Family members of the 26 victims spoke during the ceremony.

The dedication was supposed to happen last year, but was pushed back because of the pandemic.

After 51 years, Lubbockites and all of those impacted by the devastating 1970 tornado will finally have a place to rest, reflect and remember.

Designed to mirror the storm’s destructive path, the new memorial will take guests on a minute-by-minute journey through the events of that fateful night that cost Lubbock 26 of its own. It will stand not only to honor those victims and their families, but also as a testament to the resilience and spirit of the people in West Texas.

On the ground, memorial goers will see bricks used to map out the roads and neighborhoods of 1970 downtown Lubbock. The memorial then uses 20-foot tall walls to represent the paths of the tornado. These walls are inscribed with quotes, facts and the names of the victims. Lastly, on one end of the memorial is a fountain whose roaring waters mimic the sound of the storm that night.

All of these elements are used to transport memorial goers into a 3-Dimensional representation of the storm and its trail of destruction.

From the storm’s chronology to quotes from those who lived it, this memorial will stand to educate future generations on the significance of that night and how it changed the course of Lubbock’s history.

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