Some good has come

An arduous search for the missing gravel pit miners concluded early last Saturday morning, as the body of Emmitt Shorter was located and recovered, just less than two days after that of Dee Hemphill.  After days and days of moving heavy equipment and manpower into the site, most of the pieces of the recovery operation had been taken apart, loaded up and trucked out by the 10 a.m. press conference.  The few personnel that remained were completely exhausted, yet relieved that their mission had been accomplished without further human casualties.  
Many of the recovery workers rarely left the site, leaving only to take a quick break and, perhaps, shower and clean up for a while.  They wanted to be there–had to be there–just in case.
The loss of two men who touched so many is a calamity that will weigh on their co-workers, family members, friends and acquaintances for life, perhaps.  Having someone taken from you in a way such as this–suddenly, unknowingly, completely–is so difficult to get through. I know.  I’ve been there.  Several times.  I feel for the families.
What these two men will never know is how their tragedy changed the lives of many they never met.  As Rev. Thrasher says in his letter to the right, strangers came together to prop each other up.  All of Copiah County joined hands and prayed.  Many in the state of Mississippi came into Copiah County to offer their prayers and support.  Rescue crews at the site never went without a meal or something to drink.  When people realized the long plight the recovery teams were facing, groups and individuals mobilized to make them as comfortable as possible.
The legacy of the good that came out of this tragic event is awesome.
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Your local officials and agency heads were tested to their limits during this nine day recovery mission.  They all passed with flying colors, but none more than Randle Drane, director of Copiah Emergency Management, and his team.  Drane spearheaded the effort to bring in state resources at the outset and stood steadfastly by the management and employees of Green Brothers every step of the way.  He disseminated information for me without hesitation. He was a steady presence at press conferences, and handled the pressure of the moment like a seasoned professional.
If I had to guess, Randle and Copiah EMA are now more prepared than ever to tackle emergency situations in the county, which is another good thing that has come out of this calamity.

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