WINTERSET, Iowa — March’s deadly EF-4 tornado left a lasting emotional scar in Madison County. On Thursday, the county paid tribute to the people who helped heal right after the tornado touched down.
More than 100 people came to the Madison County Fairgrounds in Winterset to honor first responders, two months to the day after the tornado that killed six people just south of town.
The ceremony started with a eulogy for the six people killed in the storm and a prayer for their families.
Madison County Emergency Management Director Diogenes Ayala then presented firefighters, law enforcement officers, and hospital staff members with a statue and a certificate.
They also received a two-sided coin emblazoned with the phrases “Madison County Strong” and “Our Roots Are Deep, Our Community Is Strong.”
“You’re never going to forget what happened, that’s important,” Ayala said. “Madison County Strong is something we talk about a lot out here, so we want to make sure we remember what happened, but also move forward and rebuild.”