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Joplin service begins day of remembrance

(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)
Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon and First Lady Georganne Nixon talk with police outside Saint John's Mercy Hospital in Joplin, Mo. on May 23, 2011. The governor is speaking at a remembrance ceremony this morning at another hospital in town, Freeman Hospital.

Will be updated.

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.

A four-mile unity walk through the hardest-hit neighborhoods will end with a moment of silence at a city park at 5:41 p.m., the precise time when the tornado packing 200 mile-per-hour winds hit Joplin.

Some volunteers who came to Joplin following the tornado have returned for the anniversary. They include a group of former residents who organized a fundraising bike ride from New York City.

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