MOORE — Moore police officers were honored Monday night at city hall for responding to Plaza Towers Elementary and saving lives following the May 20 tornado.
The honored police officers helped the schoolchildren, teachers and staff out of rubble barely recognizable as one of the city’s oldest elementary schools. Seven children died at the site. The officers received a standing ovation and were commended by Mayor Glenn Lewis and City Manager Stephen Eddy.
“You saw things you should not have to see,” Lewis said.
At the council meeting two weeks ago, Moore firefighters were recognized. First responders were vital in the wake of the deadly EF-5 tornado that ripped through the city. Moore has fought back, adapting the Oklahoma Strong motto as their own — Moore Strong.
Even the upcoming Moore War 5K will be dedicated in part to tornado recovery and has been temporarily renamed the Moore Strong 5K. It is set for Aug. 24, and there has been encouragement for police and fire to join the friendly spirit of the competition.
Also at Monday night’s Moore City Council meeting, Joplin Assistant City Manager Samuel Anselm and others from the Missouri city that experienced similar devastation from a tornado two years ago presented a banner from their city to send good wishes for recovery to Moore.
“We’re learning a lot from your response and how you’re handling it,” Joplin resident Jane Cage said.
Cage said Moore’s experience is valuable because this is the city’s second tornado. Moore was also hit May 3, 1999. Cage said she realized Joplin residents shouldn’t assume their city will never be hit again.
In regular city business, the Moore City Council approved a Fiscal Year 2013 budget supplement to the General Fund for $1 million and to the Special Revenue Fund for $6 million to address tornado expenses incurred prior to the FY 2013 end on June 30.