President Obama embraces a survivor of last Sunday’s EF5 tornado at the memorial service held at Missouri Southern State University

on May 29, 2011 — photo by Michael Bersin, Show Me Progress

Joplin, Missouri came together today to mourn their dead and celebrate the lives of those they lost, and Governor Jay Nixon and President Barack Obama were there to mourn with them and celebrate the strength and resolve of our fellow Missourians who are recovering from an unimaginable disaster.

Governor Nixon delivered one of his better speeches, and then President Obama took the podium to deliver a 15 minute address that wove the stories of the heroes who emerged that fateful day, some sacrificing their own lives to save others, without a moment of hesitation in with stories of the Good Samaritans who came to help afterward — like the volunteers who drove straight through from Tuscaloosa to help, because when they needed help, they got it, and they were moved to return in kind the kindness they had been shown.

He ended his address with a recitation of the words to Amazing Grace, a comforting and appropriate choice, in this situation.