Community members along with the City of Joplin are finalizing plans for “A Day of Unity” to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the May 22, 2011 tornado. One of the main highlights will include “A Walk of Unity” that travels through the area devastated by the EF-5 twister.
With several stops along the route, the Walk will begin in the eastern side of Joplin, near 17th & Range Line, and move through neighborhoods until reaching Cunningham Park. The Walk is scheduled to begin at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22nd and will conclude near the five o’clock hour at the Park in time for a 5:41 p.m. Moment of Silence,with a formal dedication of the bronze plaque inscribed with the names of those who lost their lives in the tornado.
“It is a day to be one as a community, to stand tall and recognize the many facets of this past year,” said Mark Rohr, City Manager. “As we remember the many trials and sadness we’ve experienced, we also acknowledge the courage it takes to move forward in the recovery process.”
One goal for the Walk is to symbolize walking against the wind which exemplifies the resilience of our citizens and how they, in the hours of peril and still today, stand strong and united.
The Walk will also be a time to acknowledge the 119,000+ volunteers who have come from near and far to aid in the rescue, recover and now the rebuilding of Joplin. A special invitation is being extended to the many individuals, organizations and agencies to return and join us on this significant day. But, most importantly, the event is A Walk of Unity to demonstrate the strength as a community and how everyone has worked together setting a new standard in disaster response.
Everyone is encouraged to participate in the manner that suits them, whether walking a portion of the route or the entire distance, or joining along the way in one of the many neighborhoods as they reconnect with their neighbors. The public is also invited to join in the activities at the stops along the route. Details of the route as well as the planned events along the way are being finalized and will be announced in the near future.
Please watch for more announcements about other activities being planned for the Day of Unity.