Remembering the Imperial Sugar explosion

By Christy Hutchings - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - It's hard to believe it's almost been a year since the explosion.

Families who lost loved ones are still grieving, those hurt in the fire are still healing, and the pain of what happened is still with them all.

"That night was a night I won't ever forget," said the wife of a refinery worker.

Thursday night a special service was held in honor of the victims and their families.Many of the families and victims shared their stories and what they've gone through.

Their stories brought people to tears, but they also brought hope: to see how far they've come.

"Stay strong, look always to God. Thank you." "Thank you", the same two words from almost every speaker, especially for the first responders.

The first responders were given a standing ovation for going above and beyond.

No one at Thursday night's service will ever forget the night Imperial Sugar exploded, from those who worked there, to those who have friends and family there, to the rest of the community who just knew the sugar plant as a landmark between Port Wentworth and the river, remembering is what's important now.

"It touched everyone. We go one with our lives but we'll always remember," said Port Wentworth Mayor Glenn Jones.

"We want to let the families know we're praying for you," said Pastor Bennie Mitchell Jr., "We love you and we're holding you and we're here to help you in any way possible."

Pastor Mitchell says there's another reason we can't forget because many of the families still need our help.

He says this past year victims and their families are being separated, getting divorced, that many are angry and on top of that they're having financial difficulties.

He hopes the community will continue to give to these families because the journey for them is long from over.