Gov. Chris Christie stopped by Union Beach on Tuesday to thank volunteers for their efforts following Superstorm Sandy, and to remind those still out of their homes a year later that they haven't been forgotten.
"We need to celebrate all the volunteers and the folks who have been working so hard to get this done," said Christie, who was joined by First Lady Mary Pat. "That does not mean when we celebrate them we have forgotten you."
Many homeowners in Union Beach were led to believe FEMA would pay for the demolition of their devastated homes, only months later to find the agency changed its policy. Volunteers have since stepped up to help raze homes.
"We have tens of thousands of people who are back in their homes, back to normal life," Christie said during the Bayshore stop. "But if you're one of those people who aren't, it's not that you don't care about the people who have their lives back to normal. But it means less if your life isn't there yet."
Recovery must continue even while celebrating the lives are getting back to normal, Christie said.
"We've got to be able to do both, because the celebration of our accomplishments is what helps to give hope to the people whose lives are still not back to normal," the governor said.