As Americans remember those who gave their lives while serving in our country's armed forces, this Memorial Day weekend also became a time when the nation, the state of Missouri and the city of Joplin paused to honor those who lost their lives in the devastating tornado that went through Joplin on May 22. The service on Sunday (May 29) featured remarks from President Barack Obama and Gov. Jay Nixon.
The Governor told an overflow crowd of several thousand gathered at Missouri Southern State University and a nationwide audience on television that the unprecedented storm also brought an unprecedented spirit of resilience.
"What our nation has witnessed this week is the spirit of Joplin, Missouri," Gov. Nixon said. "And we are humbled and awed by it."
Gov. Nixon drew on the parable of the Good Samaritan to show how compassion is being shown through action, through those rushing to reach the wounded and dying, through those watching over the remains of homes, and through those passing out blankets and sandwiches.
"God has chosen us for a mission, too - to grieve together, to comfort one another, to be patient with one another, to strengthen one another - and to build Joplin anew," the Governor said. "And not just to build it back the way it was, but to make it an even better place.
"We can, and we will, heal. We've already begun. Together, we can, and we will, rebuild - upon a granite foundation of faith...By God's grace, we will restore this community. And by God's grace we will renew our souls."