Pence to recognize those involved in rescuing boy buried in sand

2013-08-20T18:45:00Z 2013-08-29T19:17:00Z Pence to recognize those involved in rescuing boy buried in sandStan Maddux Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
August 20, 2013 6:45 pm  • 

MICHIGAN CITY | Nathan Woessner's rescuers will get their day in the spotlight next week.

Those involved in rescuing the 6-year-old Sterling, Ill., boy from underneath the sand of Mt. Baldy will be honored at two events Aug. 28.

At the first event that day, Gov. Mike Pence will offer his comments at 11 a.m. at Michigan City City Hall.

Mayor Ron Meer said that event will be more like a news conference where Pence will give an address on Nathan's July 12 rescue. Pence will be in attendance for one hour.

"He has some announcements that he'd like to make in regards to all of the rescue workers involved," Meer said.

Pence will not attend a second recognition ceremony where everyone involved will be recognized, including police and firefighters, companies that provided the heavy machinery during the dig for the boy, members of the Red Cross who provided beverages to the rescuers and medical staff who helped the boy in his recovery.

That event will be at 1 p.m. Aug. 28 in the Stardust Events Center at Blue Chip Casino to accommodate everyone involved in the rescue and others who want to attend.

Nathan and his family have accepted an invitation to be at both events, Meer said.

Nathan was barely breathing when pulled from a hole beneath the surface of the sand dune, which is a site at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. It took rescuers more than three hours to free the boy from the dune.

Nathan is recovering and started first grade Monday.

Michigan City Fire Chief Ronnie Martin said what he remembers most about the rescue is the never-give-up attitude during a situation that seemed to grow bleak with the passing of time.

Rescuers never lost optimism about finding the boy alive, he said.

"Everyone, I mean everyone involved worked diligently to rescue Nathan. That's what sticks out the most in my mind," Martin said.

Meer said he expects a lot of people to attend, especially the second ceremony at Blue Chip.

"There's a big interest in this not only on a local level but on a state and national level also," Meer said.

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