Demolition has begun on a Joplin hospital that took a direct hit from a deadly May 22nd tornado.
The Joplin Globe reported that about 1,000 people turned out Sunday for a ceremony at the shell of the once-bustling St. John's Mercy Hospital. Speakers talked about the history of the hospital before a wrecking ball ceremonially smacked the side of the building a few times. From there, the crowd went to a groundbreaking ceremony for the new structure. It is being built at a site three miles away.
Six months ago, an EF5 tornado plowed through the center of Joplin, leaving about one-fifth of the city's population without a home. Now, people are slowly getting back to normal. For some, normal means lacing up the running shoes and hitting the streets.
I ran a marathon in Joplin last weekend – the second annual “Mother Road Marathon,” along Route 66. It was hot, there was a head wind, and it was a long slow day. My time was exactly one hour longer than my first marathon six months ago. I didn’t have a good excuse for my slowness – I’ve just been lazy about training. But for locals in Joplin, training for this race was truly challenging.