EDITORIAL: Join Joplin this weekend

·2 min read

May 21—We urge everyone to join others in our community on Saturday, the 10th anniversary of the Joplin tornado.

Banners bearing the names of the 161 lives lost because of the tornado will be displayed beginning this afternoon around Cunningham and Mercy parks.

And while it's too late to sign up for the Joplin Memorial Run, it's not too late to cheer on the estimated 2,500 runners and walkers. Events include a half-marathon, a relay, a 10K and a 5K that will start at 6:30 a.m.

Other events that day include:

—1:30 p.m., a ceremony and prayer service will be held to unveil designs for building a gathering space around the St. Mary's cross, at Moffet Avenue and 25th Street. The cross and its survival inspired many in the days and weeks after the storm. The goal is to begin work on the gathering space this summer. The story boards will remain on display at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 3035 S. Central City Road. Bishop Edward Rice will lead the rosary at the cross and celebrate a Memorial Mass at 4:30 p.m. at the church.

—3 to 5 p.m.: Community gathering at Cunningham Park with art healing projects and children's crafts, sponsored by Home Depot and Walmart. There will be community awareness information provided by some of the organizations that responded with assistance and rebuilding efforts such as Convoy of Hope.

—5:15 p.m.: Welcome and opening comments by Mayor Ryan Stanley, followed by the Joint First Responder Honor Guard to post colors and the playing of the national anthem. The names of the 161 tornado victims will be read.

—5:40 p.m.: Bell toll — 10 volleys of two rings — by the Joplin Fire Department.

—5:41 p.m.: A minute of silence, to be followed by "Amazing Grace" performed on bagpipes by the Tulsa (Oklahoma) Fire Department. Former Gov. Jay Nixon will provide his keynote address, "Moving Toward Recovery." City Manager Nick Edwards will provide his address, "Looking Toward the Future."

Join us this weekend, as we remember the lives lost, honor the rescuers and the volunteers who came to help, and recognize once again what we are able to accomplish together over the past 10 years.

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