August 29, 2011

Hurricane Katrina as past tense, Irene as present and future

As we reminisce of that fateful storm on August 29, 2005, the agony of loss and the trials that followed will echo through the community again, but only in retrospect. Ever stronger and alive, the City of New Orleans stands defiant against the forces of nature. Because time is indeed a healer, much of the devastation has been displaced by restoration. Many of the trials have ended, while others remain, still testing our resolve.

Amid the loss, both of life and chattels, has risen a stronger community, one that has tapped the synergy of outreached hands from near and far. The remaining lives, homes, businesses, monuments, and traditions that have weathered the storm are now seasoned to stand against the next challenge.

A testament to the dedication of a people united in their determination to prevail over the forces of hardship and detriment, the rebirth of New Orleans represents a massive undertaking by man and machine. Obstacles of nature and government often seemed to resist the progress at every turn, but the task of recovery has been constant and certain.

Much remains to be done, but we should celebrate the accomplishments that have borne the fruit of progress. New Orleans has regained its stature and charm, remaining one of America's great cities.

Now, as the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina arrives, a new threat to civilization in the name of Hurricane Irene has crawled menacingly up the Eastern Seaboard. The most densely populated areas of our country stood squarely in the path of nature's evil child.

And as we watched, a common thought prevailed: that all those who find themselves at peril be spared the test that New Orleans endured.