Friday, 29 August 2014 11:52
Katrina memories: New Orleans, Louisiana, Coast did rise again
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katrina-31st-columnWe all have our Hurricane Katrina memories.  On the 9th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, many of us who believe that the Katrina experience remade our realities, like no other event in our collective lifetimes, look back.

I am no different.

 

I am not sure why I wrote this column which is below.  From the website on WayBackMachine, I wrote it on August 31, 2005.

At that time, my sister, father and I had evacuated to Florida.  My son went to Tennessee.  My friends and acquaintances were scattered and divided everywhere and nowhere, it seemed.

I only knew what I read on the Internet and saw on TV of which my eyes were glued.  My heart, however, was elsewhere.  It was drowning in self-absorption, confusion and real doubt.

For me, Katrina was my Hiroshima, that blew away everything I knew and and understood.

Days after the storm, life still stood still.  Fortunately, for me, I was able to share my thoughts with the world on Bayoubuzz, which I now do again.  After reading the column, please watch "I am New Orleans", created by Vince Vance.  For me, I posted this on Youtube the day Vince first sent this to me.  It is as meaningful today as it was when I first saw it on the 5th Katrina Anniversary, 2010.

As I move away the teardrops, I wonder seriously whether I will ever see my friends and family again.  I ask—will the City I love, the region that many of us have promoted over the years--even exist in the future?

These are very serious questions and not unique to my own thoughts.

They are in the minds of hundreds of thousands—many who are attorneys, cpas, professionals, architects and not just the poor and the deprived.

The City of the Saints, ain’t.

Neither is St. Bernard, Slidell, and large swaths of East Jefferson Parish.

The Governor and the Senators say we will rebuild.

As I type these words in Florida, not Louisiana, I wonder—are you sure?

Is there enough money in the treasury of the United States that will help rebuild the needed infrastructure?  Is there enough love from those from around the world who will dig deep into their pockets to help strangers?

Right now, we are building up another country we destroyed for political purposes whether justified or not.  

But, now, the Gulf Coast needs the kind of support that we have given to countries for those political reasons.  For now, New Orleans, the City that care forgot, must remember that care did forget.

President Bush will visit Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.  He better bring a tremendous wad of money and a lot of stroke.  A few million or even a few billion will not cut it for us to have a chance to return to our glory.

Perhaps it is time for us to seriously reconsider our priorities in Iraq and around the world.  We have valiantly built up a country but now we must take care of ourselves and Hurricane Katrina is the test of all tests.

Yes, we need a strong defense and our national image is critical.  And we should always help those other than ourselves.

But, the Gulf Coast and New Orleans need direction.  Its citizens need hope.  They need to know there is a reason to rebuild or else they will take up roots and start over in a strange land—many total impoverished.

We need more than prayers.  We need help like this country has never seen.

I ask if the Deep South will rise again.  Right now, I am not so sure.  It depends upon political, economic and social pressures and contemplation.  It depends upon our own will and the resetting of our priorities.  It takes wiping away the tears and selling ourselves to the rest of the world, holding up the political gauntlet and saying I am not going to cry anymore.  I’m going to hope the world is kind but in the meantime, I am ready to take political control in my own hands.  That’s the only way to survive.  I hope that more do the same.

 

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