Imperial Sugar Family Comes Together to Mourn the Victims - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Imperial Sugar Family Comes Together to Mourn the Victims

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -  Many of the people who attended today's memorial have a personal connection to the sugar refinery and the workers who lost their lives.

Terry McCombs, Jr. only worked at Imperial Sugar three months before the explosion. One of the victims, packaging manager Tony Thomas, offered him the job.

Coming to the memorial was something McCombs said he just had to do.

"Just knowing the fact that I could have been one of the victims, my heart is just going out to all the victims and their families and people are still passing," he said. "It's just, why wouldn't I come."

George Sexton has worked at the refinery for 25 years. On February 7, he was one of the lucky ones.

"I was in there and I got out by the grace of God," he said. "I just had to come tell them goodbye."

The victims were more than just his coworkers, they were family. "They were good people, good Christian people, good fathers and good workers," said Sexton.

Today wasn't just about saying goodbye, but finding the strength to move on.

"I think today's service has helped to heal a lot, to know that the families are not forgotten and we still have the support of the community," said Sadie Smith. Her son was injured in the blast.

The ten wreaths on display at the memorial service that represented those who didn't make it, was a powerful image for Smith.

"Just to know the feelings of those families today, all they can feel is the loss of their loved one and those in Augusta and those who are home, their families need time and patience," said Smith. "But I will say this, those 10 people will suffer no more, they are in the hands of the Lord."

Others found comfort in the lesson they learned from this tragedy. "Enjoy life, because you're not promised tomorrow," said McCombs.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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