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New flag sculpture near Cornell Complex remembers 2011 Joplin tornado victims

Yesterday, on a brisk morning, in downtown Joplin a new memorial was dedicated to remembering the 161 victims who lost their lives in the 2011 tornado. KRPS's Fred Fletcher-Fierro has more.

Active Lifestyle Events, which provides active lifestyle activities for the community, including the Joplin Memorial Run, unveiled and dedicated the Joplin Memorial Sculpture. This memorial includes the names of the 161 people who lost their lives on May 22, 2011.

Although on public property, the statue was erected near the newly completed Cornell Complex. Clif Wert, the CFO of Connect2Culture, who recently opened the complex, shared these thoughts after the dedication.

"This is hallowed ground to us, as the start of the memorial run, year after year. And we will be hosting those runners here, so they will be coming to this sculpture year after year and see these very important names and to know they are running for a great purpose."

The Memorial Run hosts a half-marathon, a 4-person half-marathon relay, a 5 and 10K, and a kid's run. The event will be held Saturday, May 20, 2023. For 89 9 KRPS, I'm Fred Fletcher-Fierro

Since 2017 Fred Fletcher-Fierro has driven up Highway 171 through thunderstorms, downpours, snow, and ice storms to host KRPS’s Morning Edition. He’s also a daily reporter for the station, covering city government, elections, public safety, arts, entertainment, culture, sports and more. Fred has also spearheaded and overseen a sea change in programming for KRPS from a legacy classical station to one that airs a balance of classical, news, jazz, and cultural programming that better reflects the diverse audience of the Four States. For over two months in the fall of 2022 he worked remotely with NPR staff to relaunch to an NPR style news and information website.

In the fall of 2023 Fred was promoted to Interim General Manager and was appointed GM in Feburary of 2024.