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Obama Pays Tribute To Those Who Died In Sandy

President Praises Strength, Resilience Of American People
FILE: President Barack Obama speaks about rebuilding efforts following last year's Hurricane Sandy at the Asbury Park Convention Hall in Asbury Park, New Jersey, on May 28, 2013. (credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

FILE: President Barack Obama speaks about rebuilding efforts following last year’s Hurricane Sandy at the Asbury Park Convention Hall in Asbury Park, New Jersey, on May 28, 2013. (credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

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Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – President Barack Obama is paying tribute to the Americans who died during Superstorm Sandy when it made landfall one year ago.

“Today, we remember our fellow Americans who lost their lives to that storm, and we comfort the families who grieve them still,” Obama said in a statement Tuesday. “And while there are still homes to rebuild and businesses to reopen, the last year has also served as a reminder of the strength and resilience of the American people.”

The president said strangers helped each other and entire communities came together to heal.

PHOTOS: President Obama Visits Jersey Shore

Obama said the federal government has provided billions of dollars of assistance to hundreds of thousands of people and small business-owners through direct aid, grants and loans.

“That’s who we are as Americans; we take care of our own,” the president said. “We leave nobody behind. And as long as our fellow Americans continue to travel the long and sometimes difficult road to recovery, their country will stay with them every step of the way.”

EXTENDED COVERAGE: Superstorm Sandy — One Year Later

The storm was blamed for at least 181 deaths in the U.S. That includes 68 people who were killed in New York and 71 in New Jersey.

Property damages were estimated at $65 billion.

In the days and weeks following the storm, Obama traveled to the Tri-State area to tour storm-ravaged communities in New York City and New Jersey.

On Oct. 31, 2012, Obama flew to New Jersey for a first-hand look at the devastation from the storm. The president and Gov. Christie went on an hour-long aerial tour of New Jersey hurricane damage aboard Obama’s Marine One helicopter before meeting with residents to offer condolences and words of encouragement.

VIDEO ARCHIVE: Obama Speaks After Viewing NYC Storm Damage

Two weeks later, Obama took an aerial tour of the damage in Far Rockaway and Breezy Point, visited heavily damaged areas of Staten Island and met with  families, first responders and others affected by the storm.

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