Joplin Tornado - Unity Walk
On the day of the one year anniversary of the Joplin EF5 tornado, the city planned activities to commemorate it. This day served as a dividing line between recovery and moving on for many people. It was very clear to see how far we have come, and to celebrate the spirit of Joplin in getting down to work and helping each other. It is like no other place on earth in the response to the tragedy. I am so proud to be part of such a city. There was a Unity Walk planned, over three miles long, that wound through the affected area, with activities along the way, such as groundbreaking for the new high school, placing of a steeple on a rebuilt church, activities for children on the grounds of one destroyed school and so forth. Many businesses set up tents along the way to give out water, cookies, bananas and hot dogs. Some people gave out home made cookies to the walkers as they passed their house that was being rebuilt.
It was a wonderful community activity that ended with ceremonies at Cunningham Park, which was repaired by Extreme Makeover - Home Edition. Because of health issues I could not walk, so I borrowed a wheel chair and my son pushed me through the latter part of the walk. It was a very meaningful time for me to be with the community doing this. The spirit was very celebratory and friendly, we all went through this together, and we survived and flourished. There were people who came from out of town to join us, and this meant a lot too.