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Governor Mike Pence honored the dozens of men and women who rescued a six-year old Illinois boy from a collapsed sand dune last month.

Nathan Woessner  (WAYZ-ner) was buried alive when he fell into a 11-foot-deep sand hole on Mount Baldy at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.  At a ceremony Wednesday in Michigan City, Pence says the rescuers never stopped looking for Nathan.

He compared the determined rescue workers to a shepherd in the Bible who never gave up on looking for one lost sheep.  The Governor says the first responders are special, because they never gave up and never lost hope even after Nathan’s lifeless body was pulled from the hole.

Even Nathan’s family believes Jesus was with their little boy helping rescuers on the day they brought him home.  The first responders were also honored in another ceremony at the event center at Blue Chip Casino.