Governor, First Lady Say "Thank You" To FEMA/MEMA Workers - - The News for South Mississippi

Governor, First Lady Say "Thank You" To FEMA/MEMA Workers

BILOXI (WLOX) -- More than 700 FEMA and MEMA employees were invited by the Governor and First Lady for a special recognition ceremony Thursday.

"They've worked so hard to help so many people. About $10 billion in federal aid has come through FEMA and MEMA under the Stafford Act to help Mississippi families," Gov. Barbour said.

Those who met with and looked those Mississippi families in the eyes are the people of FEMA and MEMA. The Barbours wanted to meet them and thank them personally.

"And to have a chance to tell them directly how much we appreciate them, how grateful we are for what they've done and how we recognize how hard they work," Gov. Barbour said.

Niyokia Lee was one of 50 FEMA workers singled out for exemplary service. She said she was humbled by the recognition and thankful for a chance to serve.

"It brings me great pleasure. It is indeed an honor and great pleasure to be a part of the recovery efforts here along the Gulf Coast," Lee said.

Even with all the good that's been done, the Governor knows FEMA workers caught a lot of flack after the storm for what many said was a slow response to the most catastrophic natural disaster in our nation's history.

"Anybody that thinks in the face of that, you can have a perfect response, just doesn't know what they're talking about," Gov. Barbour said.

Although many seemed thrilled to meet the Governor, the First Lady also got a standing ovation for all of her hands on work after Katrina.

"I couldn't be prouder to be a Mississippian or have something to do with, a tiny little bit of helping you get your feet back on the ground and cover over your heads. And like Haley said, we are both so proud of you," Marsha Barbour said.

MEMA Director Mike Womack was also on hand to thank FEMA and MEMA employees for their dedication and service.

By Rebecca Powers

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