Watch CBSN Live

Joplin couples wed despite decimation

Among all that is needed by the people of Joplin, Mo. following the devastating tornado that struck eight days ago, perhaps nothing is more valuable than hope.

And, CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy reported on "The Early Show" Monday, two couples provided just that on Saturday - going through with their weddings despite the destruction all around them.

He says he spotted one taking pictures as he drove by on Main Street. People were honking and waving with joy, he says.

Tracy spoke with the other couple -- high school sweethearts Aaron Cox and Brooke Watson.

"It seems like there were a lot of obstacles thrown in our path, but we finally made it," Watson, now known as Brooke Cox, told him.

Right after the mammoth funnel cloud hit, Aaron shot a video as he and Brooke desperately searched for his sister, Sarah Cox. Her home was destroyed by the storm.

She was fine.

And she was there on Saturday, a bridesmaid for Brooke, with both Sarah and Sarah's gown, perfectly intact.

Miraculously, so were Brooke's wedding gown, and the couple's church and reception hall.

"It was meant to be!" Sarah says. " ... There were signs. That's what we decided."

Brooke's wedding dress had to be rescued from the wreckage; Aaron grabbed it out of a downtown tailor's shop and hauled it down the street.

He and Brooke admit they did have their doubts, wondering if it was OK to celebrate when so many are in pain.

"We still have friends and people we know who are still trying to put things back together," Aaron told Tracy. " ... You still almost feel guilty about doing it, and about being happy."

But their guests told them it's just what Joplin needs.

One, Lynn Hamper, said, "We all need it: hope for tomorrow. And what better way than a young married couple?"

In a town where so much has been torn apart, Tracy notes, Aaron and Brooke are beginning a new life together, lifting spirits just in doing so.

View CBS News In