Nobody wants to have to compete for disaster relief.
But that is what Louisianians have had to do in the two years since Hurricane Katrina struck.
Despite massive destruction caused by the failure of the federal government's levees during Katrina, despite the torment caused by FEMA's slow response to the disaster, despite being hit by a second powerful hurricane less than a month later, Louisiana has had to plead to be treated fairly by our leaders in Washington.
Of all the photos from Katrina, the two below are among the most memorable in my mind:
Historian Douglas Brinkley chronicled many photos from Katrina in his book, The Great Deluge. There's a photo gallery here.
From The Guardian UK on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina a reflection from music legend Fats Domino who was missing after Katrina:
The King of New Orleans, Fats Domino, is one of the few optimistic people in the still devastated city. "Everybody is doing the best they can. I think New Orleans will recover," he said on the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
He is one of the lucky ones. His house in the city's poor and exclusively black Lower Ninth district, from which he was rescued by helicopter, was destroyed in the flooding. But musicians from around the world - Elton John, Joss Stone, Neil Young and many others - have put together a tribute CD to be released next month to pay for its reconstruction and others in the Lower Ninth.
Speaking in Tipitina's jazz hall, Domino, 79, said he was born and raised in New Orleans, liked everything about the place, from the food to the music, and did not want to live anywhere else. "I think we will be all right," he said.
That is not a view shared by many of the city's 250,000-plus residents still waiting to return to their homes or the 100,000-plus still in exile in Texas and elsewhere.
The recovery goes on in the Gulf. John Kerry noted today in response to Bush's platitudes from New Orleans that Bush aasn’t learned the lessons of Katrina:
“President Bush showed once again that he hasn’t learned the lessons of Katrina. Empty claims ring hollow to the survivors of Katrina still struggling to get back on their feet. While the President hailed the progress made by Louisiana schools, less than twenty percent of the money needed to rebuild the schools has been pledged to New Orleans. The Gulf Coast needs a sustained federal effort to help small businesses and homeowners return and rebuild. It’s time for President Bush to listen to his own advice and make a real commitment to Gulf Coast recovery.”
Enough Is Enough.
Cross posted from The Democratic Daily.