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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Katrina Anniversary Reflections

Four years later, I want to express my gratitude to the brave people who worked to rescue storm victims. Many rescuers were neighbors, volunteers, or Coast Guards. Most had no personal stake in the rescues but risked their lives out of the goodness of their hearts. My brother in law spent days helping boat people to safety before he fled the city himself. Thank you, Chris.
I'm thankful to the medical personnel who stayed in fetid, hot conditions and cared for patients by hand. These people gave up their own food, water, and resting places for the patients they cared for. I remember an image I saw in the newspaper of patients being lifted to helicopters hovering over Baptist Hospital. I recognized the man holding up the sick baby - he was a pharmacist I had worked with. Thank you, Glenn.
I am still disgusted with FEMA for not even knowing that you could take River Road into the city when the I-10 was flooded - this lack of research caused a dramatic delay in the arrival of help and many died because of it. Thanks a LOT, FEMA.
Our ex-governor Blanco is the epitome of poor leadership. She allowed her ego and her pride to make decisions - and in doing so cost innocent victims their lives. Thanks, Blanco - I know it is hard to make decisions under duress but you were foolish and ineffectual.
I'm thankful to God for allowing this city to crawl back bravely and I'm thankful to all the people who moved back to their homes and tried to build their lives back. We're a brave city! Keep your chin up, NOLA!

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