Joplin Returns To Daily Life After Tornado Remembrance

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JOPLIN, MO (KTVI) - Folks in Joplin, Missouri, are returning to their daily routines after taking time Tuesday to mark the one-year anniversary of the deadliest tornado in Missouri history. 

It was an emotional couple of days down there.  FOX 2’s Chris Higgins had the opportunity to spend a lot of time talking off camera with both victims and friends of victims.  While there were some old wounds opened, it was also an important day of healing and moving forward.

Part of that was a moment of silence at Cunningham Park across from St. John's Hospital at the exact time the deadly twister touched down.

It came before the dedication of a plaque bearing the names of the tornado's many victims.

Those victims were also remembered with a "Day of Unity" walk, with 10,000 people taking part, far exceeding the 3,000 people organizers expected.

Along the way, Michelle Hare held a vigil for her son Lance. He was driving home from the high school graduation when the tornado hit, carrying his truck for several blocks. His last words to his mother on his cell phone were, "I'm just trying to get home mom."

Hare explained , "Everyone's been behind us. There's not a person that doesn't support, even if they don't know us.  Groups of people are showing up and loving, not me, but Lance and showing Lance their support because he was that child that everyone loved, everyone respected.”

Along the walk, the school district held a groundbreaking ceremony at the location of the new high school.