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Joplin Tornado Anniversary: Freeman Hospital Honors Tornado Survivors

05/22/12 09:28 AM ET AP

Joplin Tornado Anniversary

JOPLIN, Mo. -- The Joplin, Mo., hospital where hundreds of injured residents sought help after a deadly tornado struck the town one year ago today is honoring its staff, rescue workers and storm survivors at a memorial service.

Freeman Hospital held a sunrise service Tuesday morning on a day marked by a series of public events in Joplin. The tornado killed 161 people and destroyed one-third of the city, making it the nation's deadliest single tornado in six decades.

Freeman is just eight blocks from St. John's Regional Medical Center, which was destroyed by a direct hit from the EF-5 tornado. That hospital is being rebuilt, but Freeman was undamaged.

The ceremony's speakers included Gov. Jay Nixon and 17-year-old tornado survivor Malichi Murdock, who was struck by debris at a local community theater.

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Filed by Emily Heinz  |