Transcript for Obama Promises to Rebuild on 2nd Visit to Sandy-Damaged Area
I'm going to be relatively brief. I came up here right after the storm was on the jerseys aside and I promised everybody. Bad. I was speaking on behalf of the country when I said we are going to be here until the rebuilding its complete. And I meant. -- come back today but I'm also going to be coming back in the future to make sure that we have followed through. On that commitment. I want to thank. The outstanding leadership that's been provided by state and local officials. Obviously Governor Cuomo. And Mayor Bloomberg. -- have done an outstanding job. Borough president -- thank you so much more. Your leadership. At a time when the folks here on this island were obviously going through extraordinarily difficult times. That the people of Long Island war going through. Really tough times across the board what we've seen is cooperation. And the spirit of service. And for the first responders were here the police officers the firefighters. EMS folks -- the sanitation workers are sometimes don't get credit. But have done heroic work. We we are so grateful to you because you exemplify. What America's all about. I'm grateful to the Red Cross who's been so responsive and not just here but. In disasters around the country and I want to thank all the volunteers as we were shaken hands over -- we -- folks. From every part of the country we had some Canadians. Wouldn't come down to help out. And you know during difficult times like this were reminded that. We're bound together. And we have to look out for a job and a lot of things that seem important to petty differences melt away. And we focus on what binds us together and that we as Americans. Are gonna -- each other. In -- hour me. Now. More specifically we are now. Still in the process of recovery. -- as you can see as you travel around parts of Staten Island as we flew over parts. Other parts of the city and and the region that have been impacted. There's still lot of cleanup to do. People still need emergency help. Based only -- -- only power they still need food to -- still need shelter kids are still. Trying to figure out where they're going and going to school. So there's a lot of short term immediate stuff it has to be dealt -- and we are gonna make sure that. We stayed here long as people need that immediate help that's -- primary task. And will be coordinating closely with state and local governments to make sure folks are getting the short term else but. What we've also already heard is that there's going to be some long term rebuilding -- -- You look at this block. And you know that. This is a community that is deeply rooted. Most of the fault but I met here been here -- 3050 years. They don't want to see their community operated. But there's got to be a plan for rebel. And that plans gonna to be coordinated there's going to be resources so. What I've committed to doing is to work -- the outstanding congressional delegation led by. Your senators Chuck Schumer and in person Gil -- Also working with the Governor Christie the Jersey. Delegation. To try to come up with a game plan for how we're gonna be able to resource the rebuilding process. And I'm confident as Governor Cuomo said that we're -- -- don't but it's gonna require everybody. Focus on getting the job done. We're gonna -- put some of the turf battles aside we're -- to make sure that everybody's focused on doing the job. As opposed to worrying about who's -- predator who's getting the contracts are all that stuff that sometimes goes into the rebuilding process. On the federal level because there's going to be such a big job I wanted to -- One particular person who would be in charge. From our perspective will be our point person because FEMA basically runs the recovery process it doesn't focus on the rebuilding. For that we've got to have all government agencies involved. Janet Napolitano has done a great job with respect to DHS. But we've got to be good -- Yorker. Who's going to be the point person and so are outstanding. Hard. Secretary. Shaun Donovan. We're used to believe ahead the New York housing authority so he knows a little bit about. New York and building. Is going to be our point person and he's going to be working with the mayor the governor the Borough presidents. The county officials. To make sure that we come up with a strong. Effective plan and then I'll be working with -- members of congress to do everything -- -- get the resources needed. To rebuild. And and -- I have every confidence that that -- is going to be doing a great job. And so people should feel some confidence about that. Who will let me just close by my -- I had. The opportunity to. To give some hugs and and communicate thoughts and prayers. The more -- -- They lost. Two young sons. During the course. This tragedy. And obviously I expressed to them. As a father as a parent. My heart break over what they went through. And and there are still obviously you'll shell shocked. But they came here in part because they want to say thank you to all the people who have been supportive of them. They in particular mention lieutenant Kevin Gallagher of the NYPD. Who. When when they knew that there were -- were missing. Lieutenant Gallagher made a point. Staying with them and doing everything he could -- that ultimately made. They knew what had happened with the boys and were able to recover. Their bodies and has been with them as a source -- -- -- sense. That's not in the job description. Of -- time -- He did that because. That's what. Summary of our first responders do they go above and beyond of the call of duty to respond. People in -- and so I want to give a shout out to -- Gallagher but I also want to point out -- wars even in their grief asked me to mention. Lieutenant Gallagher -- that says something about them as well. And that's spirit. And and and sense of together and it's and looking out for one another. That's what's going to carry us through this tragedy it's not going to be using. There's still going to be believe -- some complaints over the next several months. I'm not -- going to be satisfied. I have to tell you the insurance companies and some of -- other private sector. Folks were involved in this we need you to show. Some some heartened some spirit and helping people rebuild as well. But when I hear the story -- the -- and I hear about lieutenant Gallagher that's what makes me confident that revealed rebuilt. -- -- priority in New York. You got to tell you bounce back just as America always bounces back. The same is going to be true this time. Thank you very much --
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