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Rising from Ruin is an on-going MSNBC.com special report chronicling two coastal Mississippi towns, Bay St. Louis and Waveland, as they rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.

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This project is evolving. Our daily dispatches coverage has been retired. Click here to see what happened in the area between mid October and January 1, 2006.

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The president of the United States came to our school today. It was very exciting. Especially since we had snipers on the roof! I'll start my story from the begining.

On Tuesday, I was at ballet and my friend said that President Bush was comming to OLA/SSC on Thursday. I thought OK, that is cool, but will we get to see him? My family is Democratic but I still think it would be really cool to meet him.

On Wednesday when we got to school, hardly anyone knew. By that afternoon the whole school knew and we also knew that only the seniors were going to hear him talk. I really wish the whole school could have seen him.

This morning when I got to school everyone was excited and talking about taking pictures of him with their camera phones. At lunch my friend and I were outside and we were walking next to some Secret Service agents and she asked them if they were in the CIA. They said no they were in the Secret Service.

I already knew that and I think she was just trying to start a conversation. She asked if they would tell Bush we said hi and they said they would. It was pretty cool. Some people who were outside when his caravan drove by got to see him because he rolled down the window and waved. I still think he could have at least got on the P.A. system and addressed the whole student body but I guess he didn't have enough time for that.

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Hannah, I was so excited to hear that the President was coming to Bay St. Louis and to SSC/OLA! Sorry they didn't put his speach on the loudspeakers. My sister, a journalist, who was there for the speach, said that even the journalists usually watch the speaches in a small room from a tv. I hope that his tour down the beach brought the situation home to him. The only quote I heard was, "There's gonna be a building boom here...there's just got to be." I guess I took it as a sign that he was somewhat aware and overcome by the magnitude of the problems people are facing with such courage and he was trying to be empathetic and encouraging. It would be great to hear the whole speach. It's kind of funny trying to talk with the secret service guys. Did they have on black sun glasses. I set next to one at a rally in college. He wouldn't speak to me at all. It was pretty funny, but I guess they're taught to concentrate on their job and not get distracted! It was good to see your diary entry! Keep them up!

I did not move from the TV when the President was talking about the recovery on the Mississippi Coast. It was also great to see the coverage that the FOX station gave about the coast when President Bush's speech was concluded. Sure wish that MSNBC would do something like they've done for Bay St. Louis and Waveland for other areas along the coast.

Bummer, Hannah, that you didn't get to see the President. But that's cool that he came to visit your school! I'm sure it will be the talk of school for a few more days, too. (Did he leave you any rebuilding money while he was there? :)

yeap....the whole school shood have had the opportunity to...SEE and HEAR the president speak....that's a rare opportunity....for most folks...as you say{ dem. or rep.} many of us may never have the opportunity to see and hear{in person}..a president

FOX news did an entire hour devoted to BSL and Waveland, after the Presidents visit the other day. Shepherd Smith broadcast from the property of SSC. My daughter and I have been to the area to help out and the people surely touched our hearts forever. I was thrilled to see The Bay on TV. Let's hope it draws attention to the horrific situation along the Coast. God Bless all those we met when we were there. Til we meet again...God Bless You.

Since MSNBC has cut back the coverage for Bay/Waveland area you can still keep up with what's going on - wlox.com and sunherald.com are good ways to follow the day by day happenings.

thanks, cleo,pass christian....tryed both sites and enjoyed being able to read daily news

Thank you, Cleo, for the tip to check wlox and sunherald for information. Mississippi seems to be fading into the back recesses of the mind of America. It sure would be nice to see just one report that gave more than lip service to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I am sorry I missed the special on Fox. I'll have to tune in more often. I've just been consistently trying to watch NBC/MSNBC since I knew they were at least still doing a little bit.

I missed the FOX coverage. DARN!!!! They are FAIR and BALANCED, not only covering the president's photo ops, but also presenting the president's press releases. EVERYBODY knows that FOX is THE channel. THEY ARE SO PATRIOTIC!!!

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