Obama Salutes Joplin's Grads, 'Inspiration'

President delivers commencement speech a year after deadly tornado
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2012 7:45 AM CDT
Obama Salutes Joplin's Grads, 'Inspiration'
President Obama is greeted by well-wishers Monday evening, May 21, 2012 at the airport in Joplin, Mo.   (AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, Rich Sugg, Pool)

A year after a screaming tornado ripped out the heart of Joplin, Mo., as its new graduates headed home from commencement, President Obama last night saluted the town's resilience as Joplin High School feted a new crop of graduates. "The story of Joplin isn't just what happened that day," Obama told the graduating seniors, according to Politico. "It's the story of what happened the next day. And the day after that." Lauding the town's recovery, he said, "you’re the source of inspiration today."

"My deepest hope for all of you is that as you begin this new chapter in your life, you will bring that spirit of Joplin to every place you travel and everything you do. You can serve as a reminder that we're not meant to walk this road alone; that we’re not expected to face down adversity by ourselves. We need each other. We’re important to each other. We’re stronger together than we are on our own." (More Joplin tornado stories.)

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