It's been almost six years since an EF-5 tornado ravaged Moore, leaving 24 people dead, and hundreds injured.
On May 20, 2013, many lives were changed forever. But one Moore resident, JR Webster, who helped in the recovery efforts in 2013, has been using a treehouse to commemorate the lives lost.
Webster remembers May 20 vividly, as do many Oklahomans.
“After the tornado hit, you know, I was dealing with some mild level of depression. We had a lot of friends that were affected,” Webster said.
So, he used the treehouse as a way to ease his mind from the devastation. Webster used wood planks from the homes that were destroyed that day, to build something out of what was lost, and carved the names of the 24 victims into the walls.
“My goal in a lot of ways in all this was to not concentrate on the death of the people, as much as try to look at the life they lived,” Webster added.
As he carved each name, he tried to learn about them. The process helped him connect with family members of the victims, building bonds that will last longer than the treehouse.
“We had one parent who came, and we just sat here in the yard and talked for like three hours. Just about her son and, you know, about his life,” Webster said.
He says now that his children are older, and the treehouse is starting to fall apart, he plans to tear it down in the next week or so. But not before sharing the wooden memorials he carved several years ago.
“My intention is that if a family member wants to have something that commemorates their loved one, that they’d be able to have that little piece,” he said.
If you lost a family member during the May 20, 2013 tornado, and would like the wood plank, please contact JR Webster on Facebook. Click here.