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Nixon calls Joplin residents “the toughest people on God’s green Earth”

The people of Joplin took time over the weekend to remember the EF-5 tornado that took 161 lives on May, 22, 2011.  One guest at a ceremony in Cunningham Park was former Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.

“We are here this evening because the people of Joplin are the toughest people on God’s green Earth,” Nixon said.

Nixon recalled the massive effort on the part of the people of Joplin, thousands of volunteers and the federal and state government help the city recover from the storm.

“Nine schools [were] rebuilt and ready for an on-time start on August 17th,” Nixon recalled. “Safe rooms were rebuilt, power restored. Joplin High School was built in the old mall in just 55 days. Desks and chairs were were moved in, ready to go, when those students arrived.”

Nixon, who was in Jopln virtually every day in the first week after the tornado, credited people in government for helping citizens find new copies of untold thousands of titles, certificates and other official papers that were destroyed.

7th District Congressman Billy Long and Joplin Mayor Ryan Stanley also participated in the ceremony in the park that was, itself, destroyed by the tornado.

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