"This is an opportunity for us to come together because we usually don't get the chance unless there is something that has gone terribly wrong," said Joel Sandifer, director of the Washington County Emer-gency Management Agency in Greenville.
"But since Sept. 11, I think the general public looks at us a little bit differently," he
added."Now we respond to a lot more things than we used to."
As the governor made his
way toward the meeting room where he
would deliver a luncheon speech at the conference, he
paused for a moment to reflect on the importance of saying "thank you" to those men and women who put their lives on the line so we can remain in a safe environment.
"Every American, every Mississippian owes a debt of gratitude to our responders; that is why this conference is so important," he