The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 22, 2013

Nixon: Joplin offers 'a beacon of hope'

From staff reports

JOPLIN, Mo. — Gov. Jay Nixon offered these comments during today's ceremony marking the second anniversary of the Joplin tornado.

"Two years ago, I described the folks here in Joplin as 'the toughest people on God's green earth.' It was true. We saw it everywhere we looked."

Two days ago, after seeing the devastating destruction in Oklahoma, Nixon said, "I believe that you are something else too, something the people of Moore need right now. A word we all remember seeing, in front of the old high school, made from duct tape: Hope.

"Joplin is many things, and right now I believe you are a beacon of hope. A sign that in times of great need, we are not alone. A sign that wounds do heal, though sometimes they still hurt. That life changes, but it goes on.

"The people of Oklahoma will experience the embrace of an entire nation -- an entire world -- because when disaster strikes, we're all in this together. And then little by little, day by day, the people of Moore will begin to rebuild. Schools will open. Trees will be planted and homes will return.

"It is a long and daunting path. But the light of Joplin, and the hope you instill in people, can help illuminate the way.

"It's been two years, but when we see the progress that you have made. It seems much, much longer than that. But when we think of those we lost, it seems like it was only yesterday.

"Time can be that way. It can move fast and slow -- and never at the pace you want it to. The only thing certain is that each moment is precious. Joplin reminds us of that. It reminds us to appreciate the little things a little more. Especially now, Joplin reminds us that every sunrise is a blessing. You give us strength, inspiration.  Joplin, you give us hope.

"We will carry that light and hold it high so that anywhere people are hurt, anytime a town feels lost, they can look to Joplin. And they can find the strength needed to be the toughest people on God's green earth."