Submitted by: MCAS Miramar
Story by: Computed Name: Cpl. George J. Papastrat
Story Identification #: 2007102611646
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif.(Oct. 26, 2007) -- “Were not going to forget you in Washington, D.C.,” said President George W. Bush, at a press conference Thursday in Escondido, Calif., referring to the people affected by the San Diego wild fire.
The president’s visit of San Diego County areas devastated by the wildfires began at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, where the commanding general of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Maj. Gen. Terry G. Robling, and the commanding officer of the air station, Col. Christopher E. O’Connor, greeted him.
Following his arrival, the president and California governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, traveled via helicopter to numerous locations impacted by the wild fires.
“The president and I had a heartbreaking tour of the disaster area and devastation,” said Schwarzenegger. “This is one of the worst disasters in California history.”
“Seeing all this has been saddening, but at the same time inspirational to see how people have came together,” added the governor. “The cooperation we have seen from the president and his administration has been absolutely fantastic. We asked for an emergency evacuation and we got it within 24 hours.”
“The only way to grasp the true magnitude is to see it for yourself and to be out there with the people whose lives have been turned upside down,” expressed the governor.
While visiting the devastated areas of San Diego County, the president took a moment to talk to a gathering of fire fighters, thanking “the local heroes” and everyone who contributed to volunteer efforts to assist those impacted by the fires.
“For all those who have been volunteering their time to help someone get their feet on the ground, I want to thank you from the bottom of our nation’s heart,” said the president during a press conference following his tour of the burned areas of the county. “May god bless those who are suffering, may god bless those people who are hurting, and may god continue to bless our country.”
The fires destroyed more than 500,000 acres and leveled more than 1,800 homes, making the wildfires the worst natural disaster in San Diego County history.
“We want the people to know there’s a better day ahead,” stated the president.