- Associated Press - Friday, August 28, 2015

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - The latest on former President George W. Bush’s trip to New Orleans and Gulfport, Mississippi, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina (all times local):

1 p.m.

Former President George W. Bush has arrived in Gulfport, Mississippi, where hundreds of people gathered in a beachside park to salute emergency responders who worked during and after Hurricane Katrina.

Bush spoke Friday, saluting then-Gov. Haley Barbour, as well as U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and former Sen. Trent Lott.

Bush says that during Katrina and its aftermath, there was “an impressive display of leadership down here on the Gulf Coast.” He called off the names of those were then the mayors of Mississippi Coast cities and the supervisors of its counties.

Bush says the 10th anniversary of the storm is “a good time to honor courage and resolve.”

The former president also says he remembers how much damage was done on the coast.

He told those gathered: “It may be hard to see how much progress has been made. You’ve made a lot.”

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12:30 p.m.

Former President George W. Bush has arrived in Gulfport, Mississippi, where hundreds of people gathered in a beachside park to salute emergency responders who worked during and after Hurricane Katrina.

Coast Guard Chief J.D. McMurray, who was stationed in Gulfport during the storm, said on Friday that the first few days of recovery were “organized chaos.”

Republican Haley Barbour, Mississippi’s governor during Katrina, thanked hundreds of thousands of volunteers who helped people in the state rebuild. He says many were motivated by faith.

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10:45 a.m.

Former President George W. Bush says today is a day to celebrate the resurgence of New Orleans schools.

Bush spoke Friday at a ceremony at Warren Easton Charter High School.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the state took over almost all the city’s schools, which had been widely criticized before Katrina for failing to provide a good quality education.

Now almost all the city’s schools are charter schools.

Bush praised the schools’ progress, saying that parents have more choices and that teachers and principals have less bureaucracy hindering their work.

Critics have questioned the progress of the schools and lament the loss of neighborhood schools.

Bush was accompanied by his wife, Laura.

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8:48 a.m.

Former President George W. Bush arrives in New Orleans to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Bush and his wife Laura arrived Friday morning at Warren Easton Charter High School.

There, they met with students in the school’s gymnasium, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco.

He’s expected to meet with students in a classroom and then will deliver remarks in an auditorium.

His wife was wearing a purple dress, in honor of the school’s colors.

The former president has been vilified for his government’s lackluster response to the disaster. But he and his wife have forged ties to Warren Easton school, which became one of the city’s many charter schools after the hurricane.

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8 a.m.

Former President Bush is returning to New Orleans - the scene of one of his presidency’s lowest points - to remember the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

He’s also coming to tout the region’s recovery from the costliest natural disaster in the nation.

He’s delivering remarks Friday morning at Warren Easton High School, the same school he visited on the first anniversary of Katrina.

With him is his wife, Laura, whose library foundation helped the high school come back. The school boasts of being the oldest public school in New Orleans.

The school’s success story is one of Bush’s brighter moments in what were dark days for his White House. He was vilified for the government’s response to the catastrophic flooding.

The Bush family then heads to Mississippi to honor first responders.

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