President Bush Visits South Mississippi Again For Katrina's Anniversary - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

President Bush Visits South Mississippi Again For Katrina's Anniversary

President Bush arrived in Biloxi for a working lunch with business and community leaders at the new Biloxi Schooner Restaurant.  

"Word was that he heard all the way up in Washington about the excellent seafood gumbo, we have here," owner Joe Lancon said.

And that's not all the President says he's impressed with.  

"I was just commenting on how clean the beaches look," President George W. Bush said.

Flanked by Governor Haley Barbour, Senators Trent Lott and Thad Cochran, and a number of other local leaders, Bush then made his way though other former scenes of Katrina's devastation.  

"I remember meeting Patrick Wright. Remember Patrick," says Bush pointing out Wright in a crowd of onlookers. "Yes sir, I remember. I don't know if ya'll remember the picture of me seeing this fellow sitting on what used to be his home. I was a pile of rubble. Patrick it's good to see you."

He noted how much that image has improved thanks to the hard work of South Mississippians.  

"You can't drive through this state without seeing signs of recovery and renewal."

He also acknowledged the hard work of the many thousands of volunteers who've heroically come to South Mississippi's aid.  

"Many volunteers traveled thousands of miles to be here. In other words, I hope you realize you weren't alone."

Afterward, life-long resident Charles Harrison echoed the President's words of hope.  

"We've got a lot of get up and go," says 63-year-old Harrison. "We've got the way and will to do it and we're going to do it."

Bush's final stop was United States Marine Incorporated in Gulfport, where he shook hands, inspected the merchandise, and reassured everyone they will not be forgotten.  

"The federal government will remember the people," says Bush. "This is an anniversary, but that doesn't mean an end. Frankly it's just the beginning of what's going to be a long recovery.

by Don Culpepper

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