UPDATED: 8/28/2013 4 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — The 6-year-old boy who was swallowed up by a hole and buried under 11 feet of sand for more than three hours last month on Mt. Baldy was the center of attention during a ceremony today in Michigan City.
Nathan Woessner stood in front of the packed city council chambers holding a teddy bear and burying his face from time to time in his father’s shirt.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence called his ordeal, the Miracle on Mt. Baldy.
“I have come to say thanks to all who made the miracle on Mt. Baldy happen,” Pence said.
The names of 139 people, mostly first responders involved in the rescue, were read aloud.
“A story that could have ended in tragedy had a happy ending because of those gathered here today,” said Michigan City Police Chief Mark Swistek.
Swistek said that the fact that Nathan was able to survive and recover from such an ordeal makes him “our true hero.”
“This is definitely overwhelming, said Nathan’s dad, Greg Woessner. “I look out at all of you and see why Nathan was brought back to us.”
One of the men who helped dig to find Nathan was Josh Zimmer.
“We were under the impression of a body recovery at first, so this is truly a miracle,” he said