Hundreds Take 'Unity Walk' Through Hardest Hit Areas Of Joplin - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Hundreds Take 'Unity Walk' Through Hardest Hit Areas Of Joplin

Posted: Updated:
Each person who took part in Tuesday's Unity Walk did so with a heavy heart, but to also see how far Joplin has come. Each person who took part in Tuesday's Unity Walk did so with a heavy heart, but to also see how far Joplin has come.
JOPLIN, Missouri -

One year ago, a devastating tornado moved through the southwestern Missouri town of Joplin, killing 161 people and destroying about a third of the town.

Joplin Tornado Timeline

On Tuesday, residents gathered to mark the somber anniversary.

"It's kind of important to me to get out and see just how much Joplin has come back," said Jason Smith, Joplin resident.

Jason Smith put on his walking shoes for a personal reason Tuesday. He was inside the Home Depot when an EF-5 Twister flattened it one year ago on May 22.

Each person who took part in Tuesday's Unity Walk did so with a heavy heart, but to also see how far Joplin has come.

The four-mile walk went through the town's hardest hit areas and took the same path as the tornado did.

"Coming over the hill, seeing where the high school used to stand, seeing the houses that have yet to be built the houses being built, and again just gives me goose bumps seeing the city come back," Smith said.

The walk winded past the Wal-Mart where three people were killed and 200 survived by huddling together in back rooms. The group then went to the site of the new high school for a ground breaking.

Their final stop is the Cunningham park, this park was completely destroyed by the tornado, now it's home to a new park and 161 newly planted trees. Each one planted for 161 lives lost.

At exactly 5:41 p.m. Tuesday, a moment of silence took place to mark the time the tornado ripped through the heart of Joplin last year.

"It's sad, you're going to make me cry. My church was right over there. I was at church. I lost my church, my mother in law lost her home, and then I left my home and went to work and that's what we do here," Angie Brown said.

She's referring to the giving back spirit of those here and all those who volunteered their time. About 130,000 volunteers came here. There's even a spot here at the park paying tribute to the volunteers.

Special Features

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

Politics

Breaking political news & the latest headlines from the state capitol & D.C.

Radars

See where weather is happening using our live interactive radars.

Technology

Spend your money wisely with reviews of new tech gadgets & the latest news in technology.

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive
Powered by Frankly
News 9
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
News9.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KWTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.