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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Katrina – Blogging for Relief

I sat watching the man, his personal devastation a mirror of the natural devastation that had destroyed his city and washed his wife literally from his hands. He hung his head and cried as he recounted his wife’s last words: “You can’t hold me, you can't hold me. Take care of the kids.” He is just one of hundreds if not thousands in New Orleans, Biloxi and other towns and cities along the Gulf with stories of horror and loss.

But more than any personal story broadcast in the last couple of days, that one brought it home to me - the anguish, the loss, the adject poverty of these people who are now without a home, a city, and in some cases, without loved ones whom they are desperately trying to find. Or whom they can only mourn. At some point, I had to determine not to cry anymore. Instead, I headed over to the Red Cross donation website to do what little I could.

The international community has finally spoken up with words of sympathy and some offers of help, especially with our oil supply. Amid the sympathy, though, there is criticism and shock that such a rich country as ours could be caught unprepared by a natural disaster. But a rich country doesn’t equal rich states, cities or counties. There are piss-poor cities and towns across the nation with limited funds to maintain infrastructures. Monies have to go toward local government, schools and stimulating the economy. Biloxi was maintaining only because of its casinos and now all of those have been washed away. New Orleans was a tourist city, a town of beauty and history that can never be replaced. Yet for all the tourists who poured into the city, the monies just didn’t seem to be there for the major overhaul needed for infrastructure problems. Yes, the government was aware that they were below sea level and had even taken efforts to bolster the levees along Lake Pontchartrain. But most likely the monies weren’t there to install massive hydraulic sea walls, as The Netherlands did after one of their own floods claimed 2,000 lives in 1953. So, that criticism is salt in an already blistering wound of swept away towns and floating bodies.

In the next few days, I will probably cry and realize that every life is precious and no tomorrow is promised. In the next few weeks, our minds will probably drift from the destruction wreaked by Hurricane Kristina as we prepare for the fourth anniversary of another horrific episode in U. S. history – September 11.

We all will have to face our mortality one day, yet we can keep in our minds and our hearts all of those people who not only died, but suffered so cruelly before their deaths. And then we can remember the survivors in thoughts, prayers and kind words – but most of all, through donations because it is going to take more than government monies and time to rebuild these cities and homes for the displaced.

These websites have been set up to take donations of money and supplies:

Red Cross

Feed the Children

Network for Good. This site lists several charities and organizations now collecting donations for the victims of Kristina, including children and animals.

Today, hundreds of weblogs from around the world are blogging to raise awareness of and funds for relief efforts to aid those affected by Hurricane Katrina. See participating blogs at the truth laid bear. Also see Hurricane Katrina posts at Technorati.

Sharon Cullars Coffee Talk at 9/01/2005 07:28:00 AM Permanent Link     | | Home


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