After Katrina: First Responders Honored


GULFPORT, MS (WJTV) – Tomorrow marks 10 years since destruction, death, and loss rocked the Gulf Coast.

We continue our coverage of one of the most devastating storms to hit the country Hurricane Katrina.

WJTV News Channel 12’s Terrance Friday was in Gulfport today remembering the past but celebrating the renewal of the coast.

“I just thank you for allowing me to serve with you and serve the people of Mississippi,” says former Mississippi First Lady, Marsha Barbour. D’Iberville Police Chief Clay Jones says,

“The men and women here, they did a great job. They sacrificed personally. Many of them lost their own family members. They lost a lot of possessions, they lost their homes, but they came to work the next day. They did their jobs and they deserve to be recognized.”

Amongst the crowd of honorees was HAM Radio Operator, Thomas Hammack Jr. He worked in the emergency operations center before the storm hit and for many of the months after. He said:

“That was our home until then. I couldn’t go home because our house flooded. I had a lot of faith in the EOC. It was a sad time”

Former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura stopped by the celebration after visiting New Orleans.

“Most Americans have no clue what it was like. They can see it on TV, but you couldn’t really get a feel for it unless you were here. What most Americans can’t really get a feel of is the courage and perseverance, and dedication of the thousands who rushed into harms way. Many of whom are in this audience. America owes you a great deal of gratitude,” he said.

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