Education Opinion

Home Visit in New Orleans

By Hanne Denney — October 07, 2005 1 min read
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You know my niece and nephew lived in New Orleans, two young adults just beginning their post-college professional lives. I appreciate your good thoughts and prayers, and I’ve let Nick and Michelle know of them. I am sharing their story because individual stories shape cultural history. The story of Hurricane Katrina is now part of the history of our country and its people.

As many New Orleanians are doing, Nick and Michelle finally got to go home to see what’s there. Michelle wrote,

“Nick and I went to New Orleans this past weekend to retrieve some things out of our apartments. The city that was once so beautiful and alive is now a massive site of destruction and despair. Everything that we once loved about New Orleans is gone. In its place are piles of debris and the garbage that used to be people’s lives. Although the contents of our apartments were fine, the neighborhoods and buildings were damaged. My car had what looked like almost four feet of water in it. The water was not only in the car, it was above the seats. The inside is now completely covered in mold. It cannot even be salvaged, it’s gone. What wasn’t destroyed by the wind and flood was ravaged by the desperate people left in the city after the storm. St. Charles, once covered by an amazing canopy of 100+ year old oak trees, now is sparsely covered with mangled limbs. They had to cut most of the trees to pieces to repair the power lines. It will take decades for those limbs to grow back, if they ever do. For those of you who had the opportunity to visit New Orleans before this bitch came along, consider yourself very lucky. For those of you who were less fortunate, who never saw her in all her glory, what a shame. It will never be the same. I will mourn the loss of her for my entire life.”

I know that part of recovery from trauma is the stage of getting angry. That helps you move ahead. Call her what she is, Michelle, that hurricane is dead and gone and now it’s up to us to help rebuild New Orleans. Let us know what you need.

The opinions expressed in Ready or Not are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.