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November 23, 2011

“I will never forget the things I heard that day”

gloria

Gloria, age 14

A deadly tornado tore through the city of Joplin on May 22, 2011, taking the lives of many and devastating more than a quarter of the city, including the town’s high school.

Gloria, a freshman at Joplin High School who lost most of her home in the storm, and other students who have been affected by natural disasters this year share their experiences and what they’re thankful for this holiday season.


It seemed to get dark out of nowhere, and then came the hail. Of course I didn’t think anything of it, this kind of stuff always happens.

We had just finished a warm, home cooked meal and it was time for my mom’s boyfriend to go to work, so we walked outside. My mom thought the hail looked cool, so she grabbed a piece.

The author's house after being damaged by the tornado in Joplin, Mo.

The author’s house after being damaged by the tornado in Joplin, Mo.

Suddenly, our neighbor ran out of his house and was panicking. He asked us if we wanted to go into his basement.

My mom was about to say, “No thank you, we’re fine.” But then she saw my little brother crying, so she told us to hurry and go.

We ran there, but as always my mother was behind us. She barely made it. As soon as we shut the basement door, the wind took it way. We were at the far end of the room. All we could hear was the wind, things hitting each other.  We could barely hear my brother and sister crying and screaming over the noise the wind made.

Our neighbor, my mom, my brother and sister and I all hugged one another and stood there praying. After it was over, our neighbor heard someone yelling and crying, so he went out and there was my mom’s boyfriend. He had been in his truck the entire time.

I will never forget the things I heard that day, it was the most difficult day to go through.

It made me thankful for how close this tornado brought the town of Joplin together.
It has really made me happy to see all the towns help Joplin recover. I am also thankful that we had volunteers to help us. It really gave me hope.

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