On Tuesday, Prophetstown residents and officials gathered to recognize the anniversary, break ground for the first business to build in the vacant lots and to hear a message of hope and forgiveness from Rev. Cheri Stewart, of Prophetstown United Methodist Church.
While the fire was a tragedy, Stewart
said, it was also a defining moment for the town.
It brought the town closer together as it supported the victims and each other, and began raising money for the rebuild.
But the town also found a way to forgive, she
The day after the fire, two half-brothers were arrested on charges of starting the fire behind Cindy Jeans Restaurant.
I dont think, as a community, well ever put this behind us, I dont think well ever truly be unified in all the hope, unless we let it go, Stewart
That future can be filled with hope, Stewart
said, if the town continues to forgive.
We can complete tonights celebration of hope by asking God to search our hearts and find the strength that only God can give us, she
said, to forgive the two boys.