President Obama Returns to Joplin

President Barack Obama delivers the commencement address to the graduating seniors of Joplin High School (May 21, 2012)

President Barack Obama delivers the commencement address to the graduating seniors of Joplin High School at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, May 21, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Speaking tonight to the first group of students to graduate from Joplin High School since a tornado ripped through the Missouri city one year ago, President Obama praised the resilience of its community. 

“No matter how we might try to avoid it, life surely can bring some heartache, and life involves struggle.  And at some point life will bring loss,” he said. “But here in Joplin, you’ve also learned that we have the power to grow from these experiences.  We can define our lives not by what happens to us, but by how we respond.”

The President called the example set by the people of Joplin -- in the hard work they've put into the recovery, in the imagination they've shown in remaking their city -- "an inspiration." 

To learn more about the effort to rebuild Joplin, go to whitehouse.gov/joplin

Watch the President's full remarks here:

Related Topics: Additional Issues, Missouri
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