Text from Mayor Tommy Battle's address
Good evening. On Wednesday, April 27th - two momentous events occurred in our community. The first, a devastating line of severe weather that took lives, destroyed property and impacted our city, our state and our nation in the most deadly outbreak of tornadoes since 1974.
Through that devastation - another incredible event occurred - our community united. We stood and continue to stand strong and together. Thousands of you have volunteered your time. Thousands more have reached out with monetary donations.
This is the season of resurrection and rebirth. Through that process, even though we have been through a terrible tragedy, we will emerge as a resilient, stronger and better community.
Our community will not be defined by tragedy. We will, as we always have been, be defined by our accomplishments.
To all the families in our community who have suffered loss, though we share your grief we realize that we cannot imagine the pain you are feeling.
Our words seem small beside the loss you have endured but know that you are not standing alone.
Our community and our state will continue to work with you to rebuild and move forward however that may be possible.
That journey forward will not be an easy one - but it began as soon as the skies cleared and rain dried.
This recovery will take months, years and, in some cases, lifetimes - but we will recover.
The buildings that were destroyed will be rebuilt and the lives that were lost will be remembered.
I want to thank our local media for the incredible job they did in trying to reach our residents through the most difficult communication circumstances imaginable.
Our television, radio and print representatives worked tirelessly to keep you informed.
I'd also like to thank the countless city, county, state, Huntsville Utility, TVA and volunteer workers that worked around the clock to pull our community together. They are the ones that did the heavy lifting - and they deserve our gratitude.
Finally, I want to thank you, our residents. Your tireless efforts, respect for the law, and most importantly, your patience - helped show the world why Huntsville is unquestionably one of America's greatest communities.
I know I speak for Mayor Paul Finley, Madison County Commission Chairman Mike Gillespie, Redstone Arsenal Garrison Commander Col. John Hamilton and all the members of Team Redstone, Team Huntsville and Team Madison County when I say THANK YOU.
In those darkest of nights, thousands of stars could be seen over our city - stars that hadn't been visible in downtown Huntsville for decades.
I want you to know that the stars in the sky were not the only ones shining bright. The brightest stars are the residents that continue to stand together for our community and our neighbors. God bless you - and God bless our city.