More than a thousand people have said goodbye to St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Joplin, the hospital destroyed by last May’s tornado. 

The ceremony that begins demolition of the wrecked building was part one of the event. The second part was the blessing  of the site where Mercy Hospital Joplin will be built as the St. John’s replacement.

The tornado hit the hospital so hard it moved the building four inches off its foundation. 

The new, billion-dollar hospital is to open in 2015.