ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Joplin Tornado - Unity Walk

Updated on May 26, 2012

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.

We started on the street where we used to live.
We started on the street where we used to live.
With the rubble all cleared, the landscape is largely empty, right in the middle of town.
With the rubble all cleared, the landscape is largely empty, right in the middle of town.
Trees that were stripped but survived have regrown in odd shapes that look like something from Dr. Seuss.
Trees that were stripped but survived have regrown in odd shapes that look like something from Dr. Seuss.
Many businesses set up tents along the rout to give out water and refreshments.
Many businesses set up tents along the rout to give out water and refreshments.
Some trees still have debris lodged in the branches.
Some trees still have debris lodged in the branches.
An estimated 6,000 people took part in the walk, about 8,000 at the closing ceremonies.
An estimated 6,000 people took part in the walk, about 8,000 at the closing ceremonies.
Some had it easier that others along the way.
Some had it easier that others along the way.
We saw many homes in the process of being built, some finished, some still in ruins.  The devastation was so far reaching that it will take years to recover.
We saw many homes in the process of being built, some finished, some still in ruins. The devastation was so far reaching that it will take years to recover.
Dogs came too.  Some were search and rescue dogs, some were survivors, and some were pets.
Dogs came too. Some were search and rescue dogs, some were survivors, and some were pets.
Children's activities on the grounds of a destroyed school
Children's activities on the grounds of a destroyed school
There was much media presence.
There was much media presence.
Cunningham Park, where the closing ceremonies took place, is across the road from the ruins of St. John's hospital.
Cunningham Park, where the closing ceremonies took place, is across the road from the ruins of St. John's hospital.
Closing ceremonies.
Closing ceremonies.
People wore T shirts with all kinds of messages of hope and remembrance.
People wore T shirts with all kinds of messages of hope and remembrance.
After a moment of silence at the exact time of the tornado strike, a balloon was released.
After a moment of silence at the exact time of the tornado strike, a balloon was released.
Ceremony dedicating the last of 161 trees planted in the park to commemorate those who died in the tornado.
Ceremony dedicating the last of 161 trees planted in the park to commemorate those who died in the tornado.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)