Tuesday, August 29, 2006

ACs Blog about Katrina

Since I haven't been able to sit down and actually write up a Katrina post like I was planning, I thought I'd post ACs blog post from yesterday. Feel free to share your thoughts about the entry. I will try to get something together in between class, but that'll be a stretch. Hope everyone has a great Tuesday!

Remembering the city that never forgets
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana -- One year later.

In some ways, it's hard to believe. Parts of the city are cleaned-up, scrubbed fresh. You stare at the Convention Center and the Superdome and there's no sign of what happened there, no marker, no memorial.

I flew in yesterday, and while waiting for my luggage in the airport, I thought back to the elderly and sick people who one year ago were placed on the baggage conveyer belt. There was nowhere else for them to go.

It's strange. I'm staying in the exact same room of the same hotel I stayed in a few weeks after Katrina and it seems normal. But drive through the Lower Ninth Ward, of course, or Saint Bernard Parish and Katrina is not just a memory. People's possessions still lay out in the sun. There is still no clear plan for what will be rebuilt, or when, or how.

Did you know that in New Orleans they never take the names off buildings, even if the name of the building has changed?

My father's high school was called Francis T. Nicholls, named after a racist governor of Louisiana. The name of the school was changed years ago. It's now the Frederick Douglas Academy, but Nicholls' name is still carved in stone on the school facade.

This is a city of memory, a city which never tries to erase its own past. I think there is something important in that. We must never forget what happened here. We must never allow others to simply rewrite the history of this storm. We must remember by honoring the dead and telling the stories of the living.

As we look back tonight on "360" at what happened one year ago in Mississippi and Louisiana, I'd be interested in hearing from you.

What memories do you have of Katrina? Whether you lived through it yourself or just watched the horror unfold on TV, was there a moment, a picture, a story that stays with you? Let us know. Help us remember.

-Anderson Cooper-

1 comment:

AndysGirl said...

Hey Rita - reading Anderson's blog about Katrina sure brings back a flood of memories (no pun intended). Most of my memories are those of Anderson showing his compassion and generous heart to those in need. However, the first picture that enters my head is the one of that blanket shrouded wheelchair. At first, I thought it was just a wheelchair left behind after a rescue. It wasn't until later that I realized that there was a human being underneath that blanket. No human being should be abandoned in that manner; she wasn't rescued fast enough and even in death she wasn't recovered quickly and respectfully. At least now, she is at God's side.