I have avoided writing a post about the tragedy that has been unfolding in the south. Basically, I just have felt like I have little to say that hasn’t already been said, and more eloquently that I could manage, at that. I think I’m feeling what everyone else is, horrified, impotent, and unclear about what is even happening. I remember when the Tsunami happened and I just couldn’t understand how so many people were killed until I saw these photos (click on the ones that show January 2003 and December 2004). After I viewed the satellite photos I had a much clearer understanding of the devastation. The realization of the horror these people had gone through and were continuing to experience was so chilling that it was knowledge I was almost sorry to have. Almost, but not quite. I wish I could have that same greater clarity about what is going on in New Orleans.
I have heard them talk on NPR about the cultural loss we will experience as a nation due to the practical destruction of a city so rich in unique music, food and architecture. This baffles me. Is New Orleans gone for good? I heard an opinion piece this morning on CBS about the viewpoint that the reason it has taken to long to get help to the people who need it, is because they are predominantly black, and that if this tragedy had occurred in an area more populated with whites, things would have been different. This left me in a state of shock. Could that possibly be true in the United States in the year 2005?
Anyway, what it comes down to, is that though I have nothing original or earth shattering to contribute, I’ve decided that maybe it is worth something to add my voice to the chorus. I am so sad for those who have lost their homes and all their earthly possessions. I am sadder still for those who did not survive. I mourn the permanent cultural loss this means for us as a people and I mourn for the continuing loss of innocence those of us who grew up thinking we were living in an invincible country have been experiencing in the last decade. People who are affected by Hurricane Katrina, know that you are in my thoughts too.