The tornado that hit Joplin, Missouri ravaged the town in a merciless way that we have not seen a tornado do in years. Winds during the storm were registered at over two hundred miles per hour. Stable buildings were destroyed and everything that was not fixed to the ground was sent flying in the air. Even the bark off of trees was stripped off. Where beautiful buildings and homes once stood, now there is just debris. The natural disaster swept across thirteen miles in Joplin.
Sunday, one week after the tornado hit the Missouri town, President Barack Obama came to Joplin to speak to the survivors of the unforgettable event.
During his speech, Obama spoke of some of the men and women who put their lives on the line and ultimately lost them while trying to protect the lives of their friends, family members, and fellow human beings from the dangerous winds.
Obama said, “There are heroes around us all the time. And so, in the wake of this tragedy, let us live up to their example, to make each day count, to live with a sense of mutual regard, to live with that same compassion that they demonstrated in their final hours. We are called by them to do everything we can to be worthy of this chance we’ve been given to carry on.”
The death count is being reported at 146. The number comes from the total number of bodies collected as calculated by the Missouri Department of Public Safety. The number is not official as the authorities are still examining the bodies.
Jay Nixon, the Governor of Missouri, said that the event is unforgettable. He said, “This tragedy has changed us forever. This community will never be the same. We will never be the same.” He went on to speak of a positive message of rebuilding. Nixon said, “We can and we will heal,” and “we will restore this community and by God’s grace we will renew our souls.”
Obama touted the citizens of Joplin for their response to the disaster. He praised how the men and women worked quickly to help their fellow citizens and to tend to the injured.
The aftermath of a disaster is always the true story. Now the people of Joplin, Missouri are about to go through the hardest part of it all. The men, women, and children of Joplin now must rebuild.