Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is praising the 139 people who aided in the rescue a 6-year-old Nathan Woessner who was buried beneath 11 feet of sand at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore for more than three hours last month.
Pence told people gathered in Michigan City on Wednesday that Nathan was "the miracle of Mount Baldy" when he was found alive on July 12.
Each of the rescuers received a certificate for their efforts.
The certificate read: “Whereas certain individuals who are faced with an extraordinary challenge to help their fellow man may rise to great heights of remarkable courage. Whereas 139 individuals risked their own personal safety wisely and efficiently under circumstances to rescue Nathan Woessner of Sterling, Illinois. Whereas these exemplary individuals should be recognized as models in our society for their noble efforts and determination in this miraculous rescue, I, Governor Mike Pence, do hereby proclaim the profound gratitude of this office for the heroism and honor of all those listed.”
But it wasn’t just a proud day for the individuals who participated in the dramatic rescue; Michigan City mayor Ron Meer says it was a proud day for the entire city.
“One of my proudest days was when the head man of the state of Indiana calls me on my cell phone and tells me how proud he is of the Michigan City Community,” Meer added that the phone call came immediately after the incident.
Meer said he has talked with essentially everyone who involved in some capacity or another. According to Meer, the common theme among rescuers was faith that Nathan would be alive.
Nathan was alive and transported to a Chicago children’s hospital to recover. Now, less than two months later he’s in near perfect condition except for a few scars on his head.
“This rescue occurred because of swift thinking,” said Pence, “because of collaboration and because of individuals who were willing to come together on behalf of one lost child.”
The “Hoosier Heroes” who emerged to assist on the sand dune stood enthusiastically behind the governor and the Woessner family as they were commended for their bravery.
“We here in Indiana were reminded on that day just how proud we all are of the men and women who wear the uniform of public safety officials all across this state,” Pence told the large audience.
It was a reunion marked by much applause, hugs, and pride as the head of the state told everyone how they reminded the nation why Indiana is the “heart of the heartland.”