City prepares for Joplin tornado memorial run and ceremony

Joplin Tornado: Stronger Together

Joplin Tornado : Stronger Together

More Joplin Tornado: Stronger Together

JOPLIN, Mo. (KODE) – There’s a lot of attention around Cunningham and Mercy parks at 26th and Maiden Lane, as the city of Joplin prepares to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the deadly tornado.

That included a special ceremony organized by Mercy Hospital Joplin.

Plus, tonight, around two thousand athletes are preparing for the Joplin Memorial Run tomorrow.

“Our motto is ‘Run, Remember, and Rebuild,'” says Bob Brown, Joplin Memorial Run Committee and Race MC.

Friday night, runners were lining up to pick up their run packets at Cunningham Park.

The park was lined with 161 flags with the names of all the tornado victims.

“I was talking to a lady who lost her son and I ask his name. She told me his name, and she said, ‘I wonder where his banner is.’ I said, ‘We will look for him. I cant quite see it now. They’re turned differently with the wind.’ And, about that time, his banner turned to me. It was really a touching moment for me and her,” says Brown.

The Joplin Memorial Run starts at 6:30 Saturday morning.

Across the street, Mercy Hospital Joplin held a ceremony at Mercy Park to reflect on May 22, 2011.

“It was really just that, to remember. It was to celebrate all the obstacles that we’ve overcome in those ten years with our coworkers,” says Jeremy Drinkwitz, President of Joplin Mercy Community.

The hospital held a prayer to open the ceremony and had guest speakers.

Hospital employees put markers throughout the park to signify where parts of St. Johns Regional Medical Center used to stand.

“This is just a day to say, yes, God’s grace has saved us and kept us as a healing ministry in this community and we want to continue that,” says Libby Clark, Emergency Room nurse.

Joplin is hosting a ten year remembrance ceremony at Cunningham Park starting at 3:00pm Saturday.

It is open to the public and they will read all 161 names of those who died.

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