TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on commemorated the five-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy Sunday, and gave thanks for all those who pitched in to help.
“When Hurricane Sandy hit our state and you sit as the governor and hear of the loss and the damage and the rebuilding that is yet to come, you can easily become overwhelmed — overwhelmed at the size of the task before you, overwhelmed at the degree of human suffering, overwhelmed at the degree of loss,” Christie said. “And what brings you out of that sense of being overwhelmed? And it is the word that we’re using this morning and the word that symbolized this organization. It’s hope, and hope comes from each other.”
Christie said hope from the government after such a disaster is desired, but it comes from elsewhere too.
“Hope came from the greater family, not just of each other here in New Jersey, but hope came from the greater family of America and folks around the world. Because of the $42 million that Mary Pat raised privately, some of that came not even from our own shores, from as far away as United Arab Emirates and Japan,” Christie said.
Christie said every time an organization was approached for help, its representatives stepped up time and again and said, “What more can we do?”
“That’s an extraordinary bit of leadership as well and I would just end by saying all of this to you,” Christie said.
Christie said it is not enough until every family is back at home, and it is not enough just to say thank you.
“What I would ask of all of you today is in ways both large associated with natural disasters that happened in other parts of our country or around the world, but also in ways that are smaller. In your congregation, in your neighborhood, in your county, in your state. That you look for ways every day to say thank you,” Christie said. “It may not necessarily be directly to a person who assisted you or someone you love during Sandy, but it is because of that grace and strength inside the people of New Jersey that we endured, have rebuilt, and recovered.”
Christie, who is term-limited and will leave office at the end of the year, emphasized the importance of guiding the state through relief and recovery from Sandy in his time as governor.
“You don’t run for Governor to do this, and there is no manual waiting in one of the desk drawers for you on how to do it,” Christie said. “But the way you lead is to draw inspiration from the people you lead, and that is what I did and that is what I hope any leader when confronted with this in the future will do.”