Monday, May 30, 2011
Nixon: What's happening in Joplin is nothing short of heroic
(The following is Gov. Jay Nixon's Memorial Day message.)
Today, we collectively pause from our daily routines to honor those who make our freedom possible – our military families and veterans. In particular, we pay homage to those who made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf.
Missouri is home to more than 500,000 veterans, military personnel and National Guardsmen, including thousands of brave men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sadly, not all of these brave, young Missourians made it back home to their families.
Each of these lives ended far too soon. And each of these funerals is heartbreaking in its own way. When I look into the eyes of the children who lost their parents – or the parents who lost their children – I tell them: we are forever in your debt. And I put an arm around their shoulder.
While every Memorial Day holds special meaning, this year, we also keep the people of Joplin in our hearts and in our prayers. The tornado that struck Joplin last week has left a deadly path of destruction the likes of which we’ve never seen before, an unspeakable tragedy.
Yesterday, I welcomed President Obama to Joplin for a memorial service to remember and honor those who lost their lives and pray for those who have such a long recovery ahead. In my remarks, I told the people of Joplin: “You have given new meaning to ‘Love thy neighbor.’”
From this historic tornado has arisen a historic spirit of resilience. Thousands of volunteers have joined the Missouri National Guard, working around the clock to help the displaced families put the pieces of their shattered lives back together. Families who had their own homes destroyed are taking time to help their neighbors. This community has come together – random acts of kindness at every turn.
What’s happening in Joplin right now is nothing short of heroic.
This Memorial Day, let’s remember to love thy neighbor – not just with kind words and well wishes, but also with action. So please consider taking time to volunteer in your community, lending a hand to a veteran in need or helping our neighbors in Joplin with a contribution to the Red Cross.