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									Please, God
Gustav is coming closer to New Orleans---and I remember another day three
years ago. I recall images and the emotions they evoked that I will never
in my life forget. That there is also this stirring fear it could happen
again that brings tears to my eyes.
According to the news this morning, Gustav may have weakened to a
Category 2, down from the Category 4 that it was when taking aim for New
Orleans earlier. Please let it be. Please let it be spared this time,
this city that is called The Big Easy. A city that America just can not
be complete without. If you have ever been to New Orleans, you will know
what I am talking about. It's a place that, once you have been there,
draws you back---again and again and again.
Katrina hit the city three years ago---and remembering brings back those
images that one just never expected to see in America. Viewing the
aftermath on television was like viewing images of some far removed third
world country---leaving one with a feeling of sadness for those enduring
those circumstances "over there". But it was always "over there", wasn't
As I write this, 2 million people have evacuated. At least this time
there was enough preparation for that to happen. Maybe this time a young
boy and his father can get on a bus and not worry about abandoning a
beloved pet, a dog that young boy refused to leave behind. Because being
prepared to leave before the storm hit---that didn't happen the last
time. Not before over 1600 people died. Not before patients in hospitals
were left to die without proper care and doctors, so tired and yet
remaining to try to do what little they could. Not before the body of an
old woman was covered by a cardboard box, remaining there on the street--
-dying with no dignity. Not when Katrina hit and devastated the city from
the 9th Ward to the Garden District to the French Quarter. Whether the
damage was physical or not, the damage was deep and lasting.
Celebrities such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Oprah Winfrey and Ellen
Degeneres have tried to help rebuild--truly rebuild and not simply throw
money toward the effort as some others did. K-Ville with Anthony Anderson
playing Detective Marlin Boulet was a television show that reminded us of
the bravery and courage and determination of many in the NOPD. K-Ville, a
show that was canceled early---more than likely because there was not
enough of a following to keep it alive. More than likely because we
forget. That was then, it couldn't happen again, right? Move on, get over
it, it's over---we don't need to be reminded of something that was in the
past, do we? Sure, we don't.
That was Katrina. We can hope and pray that lessons were learned and
awareness such that the aftermath of Gustav will be much different.
Leaders made mistakes and learned, too. Let's hope we learned enough.
To the Big Easy and her people--

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