New Orleans is quite a city. Nothing else quite like it. As I arrived here, it is quite evident that the damage from Hurricane Katrina is still ever looming. I guess after a year and half, I expected things to be more back to normal than they are. It was bigger than I ever imagined, and quite frankly it is hard to describe. We all have seen the horrific photos with people stranded on rooftop screaming for help, but now we just see desolate building boarded up from one of the worst disasters this generation has ever seen.
Now don’t get me wrong, lots of progress has been made, but there is a long way to go. I really have not heard much about New Orleans lately, mainly since bigger news stories have come along. But this city is coming back, and it will blossom like it never has before. As I look around at some of the devastation, there are buildings with big red X marks on the doors when they were hunting for survivors and those not so fortunate. It is an eerie experience here quite hard to describe, yet something about it shows a strong backbone community that will not die.
With only about 20% of the city inhabitable those that are here have heart. They love who they are and where they are. They have had a hard knock, but are fighting back with a vengeance. It actually is inspiring to see how something can go so low, and then fight to be better than before. I have never experience such a tragedy and hope I don’t, but if I do I can only hope I have the courage to fight back the way so many of these individuals have.
Although visiting this city again is different than the last time I was here, the heart of the people still remain. Devastation is everywhere and one could totally understand once seeing what I have seen why one would want to just quit and go on, but these people are fighters. They take great pride in their city, and it shows. I only hope that when disaster strikes in our lives that we can be as strong as those who are there in New Orleans now, committed to rebuilding the past.