May 22, 2011- It does not seem like it has been three years since the tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri. leaving death and destruction in its wake. I wrote the following essay approximately 14 hours after the tornado for the Huffington Post. It later was featured in our book 5:41: Stories from the Joplin Tornado. As I read through it, I remember not only the horror I felt as I listened to reports of the tornado, but also the sense of dread that fell over Joplin the following day as we awaited what forecasters thought might be another round of tornadoes.
Each year, my eighth graders at Joplin East Middle School look forward to their first official visit to Joplin High School.