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Thursday, March 28, 2013
Committee finalizing plans for two-year anniversary of Joplin Tornado
(From the City of Joplin)
As the second anniversary of the May 22, 2011 tornado approaches, the committee that was formed to plan last year’s “Day of Unity” memorial event is now finalizing details to again recognize that significant day in Joplin’s history.
The public is invited to visit Cunningham Park on Wednesday, May 22 to visit various tents focusing on Resilience, Resolution, and Realization – the characteristics of our citizens that have helped shape the rebuilding of Joplin and Duquesne. These areas open at 4 p.m. and close at approximately 7 p.m. during the event. A brief program will be held at 5:30 p.m. and conclude with a moment of silence at 5:41 p.m., the time that the EF-5 tornado touched down in western limits of Joplin.
“Based on the planning group’s input, this year’s anniversary event will be more subdued than the first year’s activities,” said City Manager Mark Rohr. “The Walk of Unity was historical in marking the first year of progress and recognized the healing our community had made in just 12 months. This year is geared toward a family picnic type event, allowing people to observe that significant day in the manner most fitting for them. We are recalling May 22, 2011 while focusing on Joplin’s future.”
Areas represented during the event in large open tents throughout the park include the Long Term Recovery Committee (LTRC), housing, schools, healthcare, trees, trails, volunteers, Ministerial Alliance, arts, and the commercial and business redevelopment with focus on the master plan with Wallace Bajjali. The tents be scattered among the park grounds allowing people to visit them, as well as the Memorial Fountain and Plaque that commemorates the 161 lives lost due to the tornado, the Volunteer Memorial that recognizes the thousands of people who came to our area to help the community recover, and the playground areas. Designed as a come-and-go event in the park, some may choose to gather with family and friends in the Park for reflective time and/or to visit the different areas on the grounds.
The City will provide water to those attending. The public is encouraged to bring picnic type foods for their families to enjoy in the park. Although food vendors will not be allowed to sell items to the public at this event, some have indicated an interest in providing items to the crowd. Details for this have not been confirmed, and if this develops, the City will announce this in future releases about the event.
“Cunningham Park is open dawn to dusk, seven days a week, and we invite everyone to use the park for their enjoyment anytime,” said Rohr. “However on this day, the second anniversary, we are also offering a story of progress, our progress as a community, while also remembering the loved ones we lost and the lives that were changed on that eventful day.”