A memorial Saturday will honor those killed in a deadly train wreck in Graniteville on the 10th anniversary of the derailment and chemical spill.
The event at the University of South Carolina Aiken Student Activity Center is titled “Celebrating Recovery, Moving Forward.” It will begin at 3 p.m. in the mezzanine. It will be preceded at 1 p.m. by a workshop on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Brownfields Project for Graniteville.
The memorial’s hosts are Bethlehem Baptist Church, the Graniteville Community Coalition, USC Aiken and The Graniteville Recovery and Chlorine Epidemiology (GRACE) Study Center.
On Jan. 6, 2005, a train crash in Graniteville released about 60 tons of liquid chlorine and nine people died in the immediate aftermath.
“The whole purpose behind the memorial is to help to heal the hearts of those who lost loved ones,” said Dr. James Abraham, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Graniteville. “We were concerned about making sure we pulled something together to let them know their loved ones’ demise was not something that was going to be overlooked, and, at the same time, try to help them to gain the strength in the years since then.”
Rep. Harold Mitchell, D-Spartanburg, will give the keynote address and the Dynamic Abraham Brothers will perform. Abraham said his quartet will perform a song they wrote about the derailment.
Both events are free.