Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has opened a day of remembrance in Joplin by honoring tornado survivors, medical workers and volunteers who've aided the city's recovery.
Nixon told the crowd during a sunrise service at Freeman Hospital that it was fitting to reflect on faith as dawn broke over a city where a twister killed 161 people and destroyed thousands of buildings one year ago.
KSMU's Missy Shelton contributed reporting for this story.
A commencement address from President Barack Obama capped a difficult year for the Joplin High School class of 2012.
An EF-5 tornado struck the southwestern Missouri town a year ago today, killing 161 people and injuring hundreds more. The storm destroyed five school buildings, including the high school. Students attended their senior year classes in a converted big box store.
Nearly one year ago, a devastating tornado ripped through the city of Joplin, Mo. The tornado was the deadliest in the U.S in almost 60 years, killing 161 people and injuring more than 900. But life for Joplin's residents is finally starting to return to normal.
That includes life for students at Joplin High School. The school was destroyed by the tornado just hours after last year's commencement ceremony. Although the school's old location is still in ruins, the city has found a temporary solution to keep classes going.
Seven Joplin residents and a Laclede County man are facing federal fraud charges over requests for FEMA aid after the deadly May 2011 tornado.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Springfield announced the separate grand jury indictments on Wednesday. Each of the defendants is accused of falsely claiming damage to their homes or property in Federal Emergency Management Agency applications for disaster benefits.
Graduation is supposed to in part be about celebrating the future, but last year in Joplin, Mo., shortly after the high school graduation ceremony, an EF-5 tornado — the highest-strength rating — destroyed one-third of the city and killed 161 people, including one teen who had received his diploma that day.