Joplin Marks Anniversary of Deadly Tornado

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It was one year ago today that a deadly tornado ripped the city of Joplin, Mo., in half.

The May 22, 2011 twister was the nation's deadliest in six decades, killing 161 people and decimating many of the town's buildings.

President Obama was in Joplin on Monday, speaking at the high school commencement ceremony for the class of 2012.

He urged students to remember the lessons they learned over the past year as they enter the next phase of their lives.

CBN's Operation Blessing International helped with recovery efforts in Joplin. Click play for comments from Jody Herrington-Gettys, Operational Blessing director of U.S. Disaster relief, on how far the city has come.

"There are so many good people in the world," Obama said. "There is such a decency, a bigness of spirit in this country of ours. So class of 2012, you've got to remember that."

"Remember what people did here and like that man that came all the way from Japan to Joplin, make sure in your own life that you pay it forward," he said.

The tornado touched down in Joplin only hours after last year's high school graduation. Will Norton, a member of the 2011 graduating class, was killed.

Today Joplin commemorates the lives that were lost and celebrates the healing that has taken place. At 5:41 p.m. CT, the exact moment when the tornado hit, residents will observe a moment of silence in memory of those who lost their lives.

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