Class of ’58 dedicates plaque that survived Xenia tornado

XENIA, Ohio (WDTN)– One graduating class resurrected a gift given to their school, after it survived the Xenia tornado.

The flaws in the granite were still there, serving as a reminder of the damage done on April 3, 1974.

“When I took that plaque off the base of the flag pole in 1974 after the tornado, I had no idea we’d have this kind of a large ceremony made of it,” said Thomas Neeld.

Neeld was 33-years-old when the Xenia tornado ripped through the city. He’s the president of the class of 1958.

The plaque was their gift to the high school– which was destroyed thirteen years after it was built.

“We’re really proud of what our school stood for in 1958, and I’m still proud of it.” The class Vice President, Robert Hagler joined dozens of others at Tuesday night’s dedication ceremony.

The men dedicated this piece of their history to the students of the future.

“I feel relieved that it’s back at Xenia High School where it should be,” Neeld said.

Eventually the plaque will hang in the lobby of the school.

Hagel said it represents much more than a graduating class, “This shows that the passing of time strengthens the resolve of a family or a group, or a community, and that’s what was done after the Xenia tornado.”

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