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Joplin Tornado: The Happier First Anniversary Of A Tragedy…A Day Of Unity One Year Later

Joplin Tornado: The Happier First Anniversary Of A Tragedy…A Day Of Unity One Year Later

Joplin Tornado: The Happier First Anniversary Of A Tragedy… A Day Of Unity One Year Later.
Bobby Baker
Joplin, MO.

Tomorrow, the third Sunday in May marks the first anniversary of the devastating monster tornado that tore through the city of Joplin on Sunday, May 22nd, 2011 at 5:41 pm. A date no one in the Four States region will ever forget. The Joplin tornado was a tragedy of immense proportion but this first anniversary will be a happier occasion as we celebrate the year of rebuilding since the storm. During this weekend Joplin celebrates life and the progress made toward building a bigger and better community in the aftermath of so much devastation. Joplin has come a long way in just a year and many have much to be thankful for. On Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012 Joplin will hold a Day of Unity.

Joplin Missouri, a city of 50,000 residents where the daytime population swells in excess of 240,000 with people doing business from all around the Four States region here, was struck by the third most powerful tornado in recorded weather history on a sleepy Sunday evening in May of 2011, a year already marked with tragedy around the country from record tornadic activity. 161 lives were lost to the EF-5 tornado that tore through the city with winds in excess of 200 mph from the western edge of the city all the way through the eastern limit and into rural Jasper county leaving a path of devastation that destroyed 40% of the city of Joplin.

The storm brought the people of the Four States together in their resolve to survive this disaster and rebuild lives shattered by the storm in a coming together of community many have admired nationwide. A sense of common purpose that is still strong as we prepare to observe a Day Of Unity on the first anniversary. Not long after the storm cleared and after the search for survivors was over the President Of The United States visited the disaster area bringing Federal help, hope, and words of encouragement to the people of Joplin. On Monday, May 21st, 2012 President Obama will return to give the high school commencement address to the first graduating class of Joplin High School since the school was completely destroyed in the storm. The ceremonies will be held at the Leggett and Platt Athletic Center at Missouri Southern State University, Governor Jay Nixon will also be in attendance.

As the city continues to recover I cannot help but marvel at the strength of the people and the determination they have to move on from this tragedy stronger and more united in community than ever. I take this opportunity to thank the more than 130,000 volunteers from around the country who selflessly have given more than 800,000 hours of service to aid my community in the wake of this tragedy. As a member of this community I also wish to thank my friends and neighbours for their unity in standing together through it all and continuing to be there for each other, helping to rebuild not just the many homes and businesses lost to the storm but the values and lifestyle that make this southwest Missouri community a great place to live.

Day of Unity Events will begin with a Walk of Unity beginning in Duquesne on the eastern edge of the path of devastation moving west to Cunningham Park adjacent to the destroyed Mercy St. John Hospital. With a number of observances at many significant places to be held along the way, including at Joplin High School. literally hundreds of thousands are expected to participate. This is where can find a schedule of events for the Day of Unity.

Source: hg.scimth.net


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