The Norman Transcript

News Features

May 27, 2013

President Obama tells the people of Moore he's got their back

POTUS meets with tornado survivors, first responders in Moore



Obama walked through what was left of Plaza Towers before making a statement.

“Obviously, a picture is worth a thousand words,” Obama said as he stood in front of a massive pile of rubble that used to be Plaza Towers. “What we are seeing here gives you some sense of what the people of Moore and the people of Oklahoma have been dealing with these last several days.”

With Lewis, Fallin, Cole and many others standing behind him, Obama lauded the work of Simpson, McMillin and the first responders as he pointed out that because of their quick response, keeping level heads and putting kids first, they saved a lot of people.

“I’m speaking on behalf of the entire country,” Obama said. “You are not alone. You’ve got folks behind you. This area knows heartbreak. This is a strong community with strong residents,” he said. “They’re going to come back, but they’re going to need help.”

The president’s motorcade left Plaza Towers and drove a few miles to Moore Fire Department’s Main Station No. 1, which has served as a command post for disaster recovery.

Obama spoke with emergency workers, many of them working at cafeteria tables in the station’s empty bays. He thanked them for their efforts.

“We could not be prouder of you,” Obama said. “When we say we’re committed to being here until the work is completed, we mean it. Everybody across the country is rooting for you.”

Obama met in private with some of those affected by the storms and families of the children who died at Plaza Towers before heading back to Washington, D.C.

“It was a very personal, down-to-earth experience,” Lt. Shonn Niedel said. “Way different than what I was expecting.”

Obama spent three hours on the ground in Oklahoma. In that time, Cole said the president showed that he was committed and made an emotional connection with the people of Moore.

“We know Moore is going to come back stronger from this tragedy,” Obama said. “We’re going to be with you every step of the way. This is a strong community with strong character. It’s going to take a long time for the community to rebuild. We know Moore is going to come back strong from this tragedy.”

Michael Kinney

Follow me @eyeamtruth


Text Only | Photo Reprints
News Features
  • March Against Monsanto Protesters rally against agro giant Monsanto

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Rain did not deter protesters at the March Against Monsanto in Bricktown on Saturday evening. A button on one man’s shirt was typical of the attitude of many of the marchers, “I’m one of those people,” it read....

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moore Med Cent Groundbreaking Community still grieving but looking toward future, new beginnings

    MOORE — One year after an EF-5 tornado devastated a core area of Moore that included the Moore Medical Center, the community gathered on the site of the former hospital to reflect and remember those who were lost....

    May 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Couple mourns loss of young lives

    When the tornado hit, Dennis and Wilma Chastain were holding hands. On May 20, 2013, the couple left their home in south Oklahoma City in Green Briar Estates near Westmoore High School around 2 p.m. to make it to a 2:30 appointment near ...

    May 20, 2014

  • Interfaith group invites women to join

    Women of a variety of faiths brought prayers and dinner and shared peaceful dialogue recently at a Norman home. Malaka Elyazgi’s prayer sounded like a song tripping off her lips in her native tongue. The translation was equally poetic....

    April 28, 2014

  • DUal-state advance Tough field awaits Southmoore at dual state

    Southmoore’s history at Dual State is a short read. The totality of it is a first-round loss to eventual runner-up Muskogee by one point in last year’s tournament.

    February 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Myths about obesity

    The obesity epidemic is among the most critical health issues facing the United States. Although it has generated a lot of attention and calls for solutions, it also has served up a super-sized portion of myths and misunderstandings....

    December 28, 2013

  • How to tame an out-of-control kid

    Edith, a retired Capitol Hill staffer from Washington, was at the end of her rope last year over the mayhem her 5-year-old great-grandson Wayne was causing at preschool. “I was on speed dial” at the school, says Edith, who is raising two ...

    December 28, 2013

  • Experts decry ‘resolution dependency’

    One of the country’s best-known fitness center chains is launching an initiative to wean people from what it calls an over-dependence on New Year’s resolutions....

    December 26, 2013

  • The 12 annoying songs of Christmas

    It’s that time of year, when Christmas songs fill shops, restaurants and your home. While anything on repeat can drive you mad, these 12 tunes are some of the most annoying....

    December 8, 2013

  • Caring for a cut Christmas tree

    Cut Christmas trees must be watered and kept hydrated to last through the holidays and to prevent them from becoming fire hazards. This includes small tabletop trees....

    December 8, 2013