Former President Bush praises Mississippi's hard work and leader - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Former President Bush praises Mississippi's hard work and leadership

First responders from throughout the area came to hear the former president speak. (Photo source: WLOX) First responders from throughout the area came to hear the former president speak. (Photo source: WLOX)
After speaking, Bush met with the crowd and took photos. (Photo source: WLOX) After speaking, Bush met with the crowd and took photos. (Photo source: WLOX)

In a celebration at Jones Park, America's 43rd President thanked Mississippians for setting an example on how with hard work and good leadership, people can bounce back from massive destruction.

During the ceremony former President George W. Bush noted that while residents will never forget the lives on August 29, 2005, it's important that we not dwell on the past and continue to build a better future.  

As the former president walked onto a Gulfport stage to address a crowd of first responders, he recalled how 10 years earlier he'd been walking through South Mississippi's mountains of debris and rubble.

"It was a doubt in everybody's mind whether or not these cities could ever recover," said Bush. "But not in your mind and not in the minds of the leaders who were running the cities and the counties. It was an impressive display of leadership down here on the Gulf Coast." 

President Bush pointed out that the way countless volunteers poured into the Gulf Coast shows the compassionate hearts of Americans. 

"It was so inspiring. And I hope you remember that," Bush said. "I hope the people of the country who are honoring your sacrifices as they pay attention to the tenth anniversary, recognize that the uniqueness of America is found in the compassion of its citizenry. This storm brought that out a lot." 

The 43rd president says Mississippi's recovery is because of the determination of its people. 

"The business people. The workers who have worked to get the Gulf Coast back up and running." said Bush."Everybody is going to tell you there is more work to be done. But if you don't have the perspective I've got which is my memory of what it looked like, it may be hard to see how much progress has been made. You have made a lot. A lot.'

Showing his great sense of humor. President Bush also made a few jokes during his speech including poking fun at former Bay St. Louis Mayor Eddie Favre asking if he was still wearing his famous shorts. 

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