“Light the Path” vigil to honor lives lost during the December 2021 tornadoes

It will be on Sunday at 6:11p.m. for seventeen minutes
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 8:09 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Many community members are still recovering from the trauma that the 2021 December tornados brought. On its one-year anniversary, Bowling Green invites the community to remember the seventeen lives that were lost that day and ‘Light the Path.’

For seventeen minutes, beginning at 6:11 p.m. on Sunday, folks will gather along the tornado path with light to remember the seventeen lives that were tragically lost that day. It can be a flashlight, candle, etc.

Public memorial gathering points include:

  • National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park
  • WKU Parking Lot at University Blvd & Normal near the Roundabout
  • Jennings Creek Elementary School
  • HomeWorks on Broadway
  • Advance Auto Parts on RussellvilleRoad
  • Fairview Avenue/Cemetery Road
  • Other public sidewalks along Russellville Road, the U.S. 31W Bypass, and Broadway

For many community members, Dec. 11, 2021, is a day they continue to think about.

Whether the tornado took a loved one’s life, tore their home to the ground, or put them out of a job, those are still working to recover what they can.

“On the days after the tornado hit this community poured out into places where people needed help. This is just a way to go back and support people once again,” said Karen Foley, City of Bowling Green Neighborhood Services Coordinator.

The light vigil will be held at different points along the once path of destruction in Warren County. The path was inspired by the tornado path drawing previously posted by WBKO’s chief meteorologist Shane Holinde.

It will be roughly one year and seventeen hours since the tornado touched down in Bowling Green Sunday night.

“I hope it is an evening of reflection- maybe a touchpoint for healing and just a way to honor the memory of folks we lost and to reflect on how generous people are here and just be able to move forward into the next year having met that first-year landmark,” said Foley.

The group advises those who would like to join to meet at either the National Corvette Museum Motor Sports Park or the Western Kentucky University parking lot near the roundabout.

“It’s a nice way to pay homage, not just to the folks who lost their lives and suffered the impacts of losing homes, but also to honor the generosity of people that just showed up for their neighbors, and that’s worth honoring also,” said Foley. “People may not see it in the air (sky), but they will feel the spirit and hope with it on the ground.”

To learn more about the event, you can visit their website here.