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These words are my diary screaming out loud

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Katrina

I have always looked at natural disasters and mass tragedy around the world and thanked God that it wasn't near me and didn't involve anyone I know. This week that all changed.

I was still on my road trip when the storm hit. I knew there was a hurricane coming, and that was about it. I didn't know the severity, I didn't know exactly where it was supposed to hit. It wasn't until Monday night/early Tuesday morning when I was driving back to Maine that I even realized anything major had happened, and even then I was so incoherent it didn't really register until Tuesday when I saw the news on in the wardroom. My first thought was oh my god. I know people there. My USNA roommate, Melanie, was born and raised in New Orleans, and about 80% of her family still lives there. Or at least did before last weekend. I immediately went to try to call her, text her, anything to get through to her, and finally, on Thursday afternoon, I heard back.

Everyone was out safely, thank God. One family had ridden out the storm, but had left before the levee broke on Monday. Unfortunately, the levee broke fairly close to where Mel's stepdad ony, his girlfriend, and his mother all live. None of her family think they have anything left, as anything that may have been spared by the floods was probably not spared by the looters.

But they are the lucky ones. They had the means and the common sense to get out. They have insurance, so that someday, months from now, when they are finally able to go back in and assess the damage, they can rebuild, they can start over. They have family outside of New Orleans that loves them and will take care of them until that time starts. My thoughts and prayers are with them, but even more so for those who are much less fortunate. Those who truly believe they did not know the levee could break. Those who had no way to get out of New Orleans before the storm, and nowhere to go if they did. Those, who by losing all of their physical possessions, have lost all hope because they can never rebuild. And, most of all, those who have lost loved ones. Those who were not able to get out at all.

New Orleans was one of my favorite places in the world, and it saddens me to see it in the state that it is in now. All I can do to help now is make a donation. Others can volunteer to go help, others can knit quilts and clothes. I ask everyone to do what they can. This is us, this is our nation, our home, our people. If we can take care of the rest of the world as we have in the past, this should be easy.

1 comment:

Mollina said...

We do have to take care of our own. It saddens me to think that we can reach out and take care of others so easily around the world, much easier than our own brothers and sisters in our own country. I forgot Mel is from New Orleans. She and her family are in my prayers. "The rains came down and the floods came up." All we can do is pray, and pray that this disaster will bring people closer to God, b/c He's the only one who can bring the city out of this horrible tragedy with any kind of hope. No amount of money can do that.