HOPKINS CO., Kentucky (WFIE) — Hopkins County, Kentucky is celebrating “Living Like Logan Day” Thursday.
For Logan McKnight’s family of Dawson Springs, this is a date as important as the approaching anniversary of the deadly December 10th tornado.
Over the past 11 months, the sad snarl of chainsaws has given way to stabs of hope.
This is the difference between demolition and restoration.
On December 10 last year, when a deadly tornado hit Dawson Springs, the McKnight family took refuge in the basement.
Wife and mother Ashley McKnight recall diving under their pool table.
“Every house around us was destroyed,” Ashley recalled. “The house across the street is completely destroyed, the house next to us is completely destroyed. We were the only house with four walls and a roof.”
Six of the 19 people killed in the Hopkins company died in close proximity to McKnight’s home.
Although McKnight’s house stood upright, it was impossible to live in it. The family would have to move. They had every reason to stay away and start over somewhere else.
But they had one reason for the makeover that was ultimately impossible to resist: 18-year-old Logan McKnight’s love memories were still very fresh in the place.
“Logan had an accident on November 23rd and passed away on the 24th,” Ashley said.
16 days before the tornado, Logan died as a passenger traveling with two friends to watch a basketball game in a nearby town.
“It was an accident. I mean, where they go through this really sharp turn, the signs there are not the best,” Ashley said. “They were not familiar with it, and he just missed the stop sign, passed the intersection, and the car was approaching.
This boy was a “man” at Dawson Springs High School. A star athlete in many sports and class president, Logan addressed his classmates at graduation, paying tribute to his superhero family, especially his mother.
At graduation, Logan said:
“There is one person in this world who is as close to a superhero as ever, and that is my mom. I love you. Thanks for pushing me. Thanks for taking care of me. Whenever I needed a shoulder to rest my head on, you were always there. I love you for this”.
“If only he knew,” Ashley said. “He was my superman. This guy had a heart of gold.”
Logan’s occasional acts of kindness to his friends and family have become legend in Dawson Springs.
A week before the accident, Logan returned home from Western Kentucky University and took his younger sister Kara McKnight to the school dance. The memory was preserved on a blanket in Logan’s room, but now belongs to her.
“Very nice to know that I have his necklace,” Kara said. “I have his hat. I have everything about him. I have his room.
16 days after Logan’s death, a tornado threatened the McKnight family with double disaster.
While they survived the initial blow, Ashley’s husband, Jason, and their oldest son, Jett, both police officers, rushed into the darkness to save their neighbors.
“You just lost someone and you’re watching two other people that you love very much and they’re facing this,” Ashley said.
You could say they “lived like Logan”. Or Logan lived like them. Being around others is a family affair.
That’s why the school created the “Live Like Logan” bracelet.
“And ‘Live Like Logan’, it just started and every now and then people would say, ‘I’m having a ‘Live Like Logan’ moment or ‘I’m doing a good deed for someone.’ ”
And that’s why Gov. Andy Beshear declared November 24 “A Day to Live Like Logan.”
McKnight’s next project, Live Like Logan, is to make the intersection where Logan crashes safer so other families don’t have to experience what they’ve been through.
Copyright 2022 WFIE. All rights reserved.