"We stand on hallowed ground." Though the storm was strong, Gov. Jay Nixon said opening his remarks, what has been stronger is the "invincible power of faith."
Nixon described the horrific tornado that pounded this city. "That storm, the likes of which we've never seen, has brought forth a spirit of resilience, the likes of which we have also never seen."
"What our nation and the world have witnessed this week is the spirit of Joplin, Missouri." Nixon's words were greeted by thunderous applause.
"In Joplin, you see good Samaritans everywhere you turn." Nixon described the efforts by the people of Joplin and those who have rushed to this city to help it in its time of need.
Nixon noted those who "drove all night to get here from Tuscaloosa," a city which had also been hit by a recent tornado.
The task, Nixon said, of all of these people is to "build Joplin anew.
"Not just to build it back the way it was, but to make it a better place."
The people of Missouri were born for this mission. We are famously stubborn and self-reliant.No flood, no fire, can turn us from our task."
The media will move on, Nixon noted, but "the tragedy will not disappear from our lives. We will need more hands, more tools, more Good Samaritans every step of the way."
"This community will never be the same. We will never be the same. The grief we share at this moment is overwhelming. But those we love, those we lost, are safe with God. In our hearts, the joy they gave us lives on and on. Nothing can take that from us.
Together we can and we will rebuild on a granite foundation of faith."
Nixon said the rebuilding will serve as a monument for those who died, and for those who pitched in to help the city in its time of need.