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WASHINGTON - The annual lighting of the tree has taken place for many years in Washington’s downtown square, but this year, the ceremony held a special context.
WASHINGTON - The annual lighting of the tree has taken place for many years in Washington’s downtown square, but this year, the ceremony held a special context.
Nearly three weeks after a tornado swept through the community, a handful of people gathered and huddles together to sing Christmas carols.
A smaller crowd participated this year, but their spirit shined greater than ever. Usually, Washington Mayor Gary Manier leads the crowd in countdown to the lighting of the tree. Thursday, he asked people to join him in chanting “Washington Strong.”
"Our house got a couple of nicks and scratches. We got neighbors who you lost everything, but you don't break tradition," said resident Ross Mack.  
“It is a great way for people to get away from the storm and the scar that was left in our town," said Chris Lewellen.  
“This feels like Washington down here, and the other side of town - it doesn't anymore," said  Megan Lewellen.
The community lit the three with special orange lights, and atop the tree, a sign reads “We will rebuild.”
The event is organized by a group of specialty shops in downtown Washington.
Carriage rides and hot chocolate were also available.
 
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