Within the past few weeks, the city of Joplin, with much help from the region and indeed the entire nation, has begun to cope with the tornado's human and also its not readily visible toll. But the signs of hope and rebuilding are everywhere, every day, in large and small ways.
As a 1952 graduate of the then-downtown Joplin High School, former newsman at KFSB1310, WMBH1450 and The Southwestern weekly, and as a Pittsburg resident I have
seen growth and faith and hope blossom in just a few short weeks. The future is ahead.
I am amazed that the Joplin Public Schools already are moving ahead swiftly to rebuild physically and in spirit the high school facility and the pioneering Franklin Tech, among others.
As a "downtown high school" alumnus, long before the site became a middle school, and in recognition of the faith, support, continuity and history present, I have a proposal:
This fall, as some high school students temporarily join younger ones already in Memorial Middle School quarters downtown, a ceremony should re-dedicate Memorial to mark not only the past uniformed warriors, but those who lost their
lives in the tornado. This includes the recently-graduated grandson of a fellow "52 JHS classmate of mine, and the son of two other graduates of that year. Re-dedication would be a loving, fitting memorial to them and to others who
died because of that day's events in this historic, unique city.
To provide the honor, to mark the moment, would seem a simple but significant way to say, Joplin, we believe in the future and we are survivors.
Jack L. Kennedy, Pittsburg, KS