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American Legion building destroyed

American Legion building in Tupelo destroyed by tornado
American Legion building in Tupelo destroyed by tornado
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Updated: 4/30/2014 9:25 pm
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - There is now only rubble left of the American Legion Post 49 building located just off Country Club Road.

Two members rode out the storm in their vehicles parked behind the building.

They escaped with only minor injuries.

As for the building itself, the post plans to eventually rebuild.

They say they'll look to the community to help them so that programs they sponsor can continue.

Vice Commander Mike Pettigrew said, "A lot of people are familiar with our foundation programs. Those include American Legion baseball, Boys State and Boys Nation. We have school awards. Coming up on Memorial Day we'll put flags on the graves of veterans throughout all of Lee County."

They took a beating but the flags at the post survived the storm.

Members have found a few important items that didn't blow away.

Pettigrew said, "On the column inside we had an area for M.I.A.'s and P.O.W.'s. We found the Bible still sitting there opened up to 2 Chronicles and a plaque for the M.I.A.'s was sitting next to the Bible. That was a good sign for us."

This American Legion building has a lot of history. We're told it survived the 1936 Tupelo tornado.

Now members say they'll rebuild on the same spot.

The post had insurance but members are not sure how far that will go.

They'll also look to the national organization and others for help.

Pettigrew said, "We'll continue to operate and do everything we did before. We'll rebuild with a bigger and better place."

They'll now look to find temporary space to meet and serve the veterans of this area.

There are close to 500 members of American Legion Post 49.
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