Over 1,000 people turned out for a community memorial service in Joplin’s Cunningham Park, to mark the 6 month anniversary of the EF-5 tornado that tore through the City.
Governor Jay Nixon, Congressman Billy Long, Mayor Mike Woolston and City Manager Mark Rohr were among the speakers. A plaque was dedicated bearing the names of the 161 people who died as a result of the storm. A red oak tree was planted; the first of 161 trees that will be planted in honor of each victim, and a fountain was also dedicated.
The Governor said much work has been done, but much more remains. “In six short months the tornadoes wounds; some still visible, some hidden deep within us, are healing.”
Mayor Mike Woolston says the entire community was touched. “Make no mistake. The tornado of May 22 effected all of us. Some lost their jobs, some lost their homes, and some lost their loved ones, but none of us lost hope.”
Cunningham Park lies across from St. John’s Hospital; both sites sustained a direct hit by the tornado.
Affiliate KZRG in Joplin contributed to this report.