Tornado memorial scheduled 6 months later

Lakin Adams


The City of Joplin will host a six-month memorial service at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 22 in Cunningham Park. The memorial service is the first one that the city has organized for the community. 

“The city wanted to bring everyone together to pay tribute to the lives lost, ” Lynn Onstot, public information officer for Joplin, said.

Residents will plant 162 trees to help replace those destroyed in Cunningham Park and as a way to commemorate those lives lost in the May 22 tornado.  

“Planting 162 trees is a tribute; trees are apart of the community and something people miss,” Onstot said. “This is a way to get that back, but more importantly, to pay tribute to those lives lost.” 

The service will be held outside and offer prayer, music, comments from officials, and close with a lighting ceremony, weather permitting. 

If weather becomes an issue,  the memorial service will be moved to Leggett & Platt Athletic Center on the Missouri Southern campus.  

“We all grieve in a different way, and there’s no wrong way to do that,” Onstot said. 

There will be seating, but the city encourages people to bring lawn chairs as it will be limited. 

The project, spearheaded by City Manager Mark Rhor, will be a way for the community to gather in remembrance and pay tribute to the volunteers who have donated their time and talent to help restore Joplin as well. 

“As our residents and their family and friends have joined together with the tens of thousands of volunteers in our city’s recovery; it is time now to pause and remember those who have died because of this tornado,” Rhor said in a press release. 

Cunningham Park is located on the northeast corner of 26th Street and Maiden Lane. 

The park was recently renovated to include a memorial during the recent Extreme Makeover: Home Edition project in the area.




Nov. 22 Joplin Tornado Memorial Service


When: 4:30 p.m., Nov. 22.


Where: Cunningham Park, on the northeast corner of 26th Street and Maiden Lane .


Seating will be provided but residents are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs. Service will be outside if weather permits.