Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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November 7, 2012

Joplin's hearts are with East Coast neighbors

(Continued)

And then, of course, there are the readers. Thousands and thousands of Cliff¹s newspaper readers are suffering. His newspapers' job goes beyond just informing. They are that voice for those who have none.

I am honored that Cliff asked for Joplin¹s voice to help reinforce the message that Long Island isn't alone in this. Nor is New Jersey or New York.

Two hundred lineman left Joplin last week for the East Coast. A team of 30 city leaders stand ready to assist when they get a call. Our churches are collecting clothing and food for hurricane victims. Volunteers are organizing, some are already on their way.

But the real strength will be found within those living in the

storm-damaged cities and villages. Federal response is required, but so is a strong sense of local leadership. Those leaders won't necessarily represent government. They will be school teachers, doctors, preachers, rabbis and priests. They will be the kid next door or the senior citizen down the street. Strong convictions and strong hands will be needed in the coming

months.

Almost a year and half since 161 lives were lost in Joplin, we still mourn.

But homes and businesses are coming back strong, and just last week a family was reunited with their beloved pet. Even the smallest of miracles are welcome ones here in our town.

I wish I could tell Cliff¹s readers that their lives will return to normal.

For many, that won¹t happen. How can it when lives have been destroyed and layers of history washed away? But, day by day, the despair turns to resolve.

And with resolve comes results.

East Coast neighbors, Joplin¹s thoughts and prayers are with you.

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Carol Stark is editor of The Joplin (Mo.) Globe. One member of her newsroom was killed on May 22, 2011. Thirty-three employees at the newspaper lost their homes. Joplin's recovery continues.

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