Queensland Premier Anna Bligh unveils the memorial plaque - the
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh unveils the memorial plaque - the "Stone of Hope" Dave Noonan

Why we must never forget

A YEAR ago today, the corner of Margaret and Victoria Sts was a scene of utter devastation as a 14-metre wall of water smashed Toowoomba's CBD, taking two lives.

Last night, an estimated crowd of 500 came together on that exact spot to remember and reflect as Premier Anna Bligh unveiled a lasting monument to a day now inscribed in this city's history.

Ms Bligh, who was joined in unveiling the "Stone of Hope" by Toowoomba Regional Council mayor Peter Taylor, said the events that transpired in Toowoomba last January would never be forgotten - neither would the people's fighting spirit.

"The scenes of loss and destruction, the grief, the sadness, will remain indelibly imprinted in our minds forever," Ms Bligh said.

"I said at the time that Mother Nature might break our hearts, but she would not break our will and you see evidence of that everywhere you look around Toowoomba and its region today."

Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who sent a message via video, said the unveiling of the memorial signalled another step forward in the healing process.

"Today, with the unveiling of this memorial, we take the next step on that journey of recovery. It will always remind us of the sadness we feel, but it will also always remind us of your strength," Ms Gillard said.

Toowoomba SES volunteer Linda Macnish agreed the unveiling of the memorial was an important turning point for the community.

"When it happened it was the first time I went back to the station and cried ... you're not used to seeing it happen to your home," she said. "I think part of it is closure. For a lot of people it's a chance to move on."


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