Thursday, September 13, 2007

You have to be here

In a tree in Lake Catherine, July 2007
click on photos for full-size versions

Too many times you just can't appreciate the scope of something unless you see it first hand. The Gulf Coast Post K is like that. Our daily intake of the headlines gives us just a tiny piece of the tragedies that befall our fellow man, a snippet of the breadth of the disaster.

Recently, a group of people gathered in Waveland to commemorate the second anniversary of Katrina's landfall there. Lawyer Trisha Miller from Indiana writes
at IndyStar dot com

For the anniversary, we gather on Katrina's vacant shores to bear witness to a continuing storm. A choir from Washington State leads us in "Amazing Grace." A Buddhist monk recites a meditation. A Catholic priest and female rabbi offer passages from Scripture, searching for words of hope among the wreckage.

The thousands upon thousands of volunteers across the country - no, the WORLD - who have ventured here to help clean up and rebuild have our endless appreciation. A catastrophe this size is not easily cleaned up, as evidenced the the ever present piles of debris that still dot the landscape.

Or the hundreds of thousands of dead trees - dead from saltwater intrusion - still standing as reminders of the strength of Mother Nature

Ms Miller continutes:

The promise of renewal is fading with each passing anniversary. As a nation, we must lend a voice and a hand to help end the suffering among families who survived the hurricane but cannot find a path homeward.
It is unconscionable that a teenage boy in Pascagoula must crawl into his front door because the Federal Emergency Management Agency did not issue his family a handicapped-accessible trailer. Or that a mother in D'Iberville, whose home was reduced to rubble in the storm, cannot rebuild or reunite her family until she resolves a dispute with FEMA over her right to emergency assistance. Or that the lethargic pace of state recovery assistance means that an eligible Mississippi homeowner may lose his home through foreclosure while awaiting a homeowner assistance grant.
These are but a few examples of a continuing storm that has besieged the Gulf Coast. The road home rests with all of us.

It's not that people are looking for a hand out. They're looking for a hand up.

Thank you, Ms Miller.


johndiron said...

Great job! These types of photos need to be available to those around the nation and world that no longer see the devastated coast in the papers or on the news.

John Denver, via Slidell, LA

Ellathebella said...

Thank you for making this insight available. I am in post-production with my documentary:
The Kindness of Strangers: Katrina Connections
I hope that it will inspire others and raise awareness of the current state of recovery at day 753 post-Katrina and counting.