Joplin community reflects on the lives lost ten years ago

Joplin Tornado

JOPLIN, Mo. — People gathered at Cunningham Park to honor the lives lost ten years ago in Joplin.

On May 22, 2011, an EF-5 tornado ripped through Joplin and was the deadliest tornado to ever hit the United States since 1947.

“It was the scariest day of our lives,” said Erin Bradley who lives in Joplin. “And we’ll never forget it.”

“We were very scared,” said Heather McNamara.

Bradley and McNamara were in Joplin when the tornado hit ten years ago.

“It sounded like a train coming through your house,” said McNamara. “You scream so loud and you thank God’s there, you want him to be there so you just scream louder. And he hears you. He had us that day.”

On Saturday they came to Cunningham Park to honor the lives that were lost due to the tornado.

There was a moment of silence at 5:41 p.m. the exact moment the tornado hit. There was also a reading of all 161 names of the lives lost.

“The death and destruction brought down on this community 10 years ago were of a different order of magnitude,” said former Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.

“And as I reflect back over the last 10 years, my heart continues to break for all of Joplin’s suffered on May 22, 2011,” said Mayor Ryan Stanley. “The lives lost, the thousands injured, the homes destroyed. The businesses disrupted.”

Stanley, Nixon, and Congressman Billy Long came out to show their support for the city.

“14,000 people made homeless in 19 minutes,” said Nixon. ” We will never forget the wreckage we witnessed.”

“President Obama came to town,” said Long “Walked up to this what used to be a house, little old man, 85 years old.” The president says, tell us where you were. What was going on? He said, I just put a pot pie in the oven, and I came out, went back in to check on my pot pie, went over to check on my pot pie, and I turned around, and the house was gone.”

“I’m so proud of Joplin, I’m so proud of this ceremony today,” said Long

While this event took a major toll on people’s lives, Stanley says Joplin will not stay down.

“Joplin is tough and Joplin is resilient,” said Stanley.

“Still working on that,” said McNamara. ” But every year’s better. Every year it gets better.”

“Ad Omnia Poratta, which in Latin translates to together, we are ready for anything,” said Stanley

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