A young woman sits atop a tree stump.

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A tragic anniversary
Codessa Schoonover reminisces while sitting on what remains of a tree that stood in front of the home of her grandmother, who was killed by a tornado that raged through Joplin, Mo., last year.

 

May 22 marks the one-year anniversary of the multi-vortex tornado that leveled the town on a Sunday afternoon. President Barack Obama visited the town on Monday to give a commencement speech for the graduates of the local high school, which was destroyed by the tornado just hours after the 2011 graduation ceremony.

 


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Three people sit in front of a memorial.

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Remembering lost loved ones
Morgan Osburn, David Hoosier and Kim Hoosier spend a quiet moment together in front of a small memorial built for their friend, Lance Hare, who was killed when the tornado hit.

 

In just a matter of 45 minutes, the tornado carved a scar of destruction, causing almost $3 billion in damages, claiming 161 lives and injuring hundreds more.

 


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Construction workers put together a frame for a new apartment complex.

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Rebuilding and moving forward
Construction workers put together what will eventually be an apartment building, replacing one destroyed by last year's devastating tornado.

 

One year later, new homes, businesses and churches are going up all across town — encouraging signs that Joplin is finally getting back on its feet.

 


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