George W. Bush Thanks First Responders

Tomorrow is the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Today, Former President George W. Bush was in Gulfport to say thank you to first responders.
In 2005, President George W. Bush came to South Mississippi under much different circumstances. Today, he returned to a hero’s welcome to praise the first responders from Hurricane Katrina. “Last time I was here,” said Bush, “It didn’t look quite this pretty. The place was just totally devastated. And then to see all the boats and the cranes is a testimony to the recovery of the Gulf Coast.”
Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi ten years ago, said it was like an atomic bomb went off on the Coast. “There are things about Katrina that we should celebrate every day. Celebrate the strong, self-reliant people of Mississippi who got knocked flat by this awful disaster.”
This event was all about saying thank you to the volunteers that came from 46 states, a total of 954,000, who came to Mississippi after Katrina. Jeff Merril, a first responder during the storm, said, “We were prepared as much as possible but we weren’t prepared for what really happened. Nothing like that’s ever happened and it hasn’t happened since and thank goodness for that.”
Governor Phil Bryant said, “Those of you that are here today that were here ten years ago are ten years strong. You’re ten years better.”
The first responders were treated to music by five time Grammy Award winning musician Marty Stuart, a small token of appreciation for people who helped the Coast recover after a very difficult time.
“Most Americans have no clue what it was like. They could see it on TV but you couldn’t really get a feel for it unless you were here. And what most Americans can’t really get a feel of is the courage and perseverance and dedication of the thousands who rushed into harm’s way,” said Bush.
To conclude the event, George W. Bush shook hands and took pictures with first responders from near and far.

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