Sunday, September 11, 2005

Who Failed Who?

I don't claim to know it all. I read the paper on the weekends and catch the news at night when I can. Like others, I form my own opinions, but try hard to get facts rather than listen to speculation. I've been reading emails being sent by my friends, all having varying opinions on how, and if, the devastating destruction and loss of life caused by Hurricane Katrina could have been minimized at all. If we move forward a step or 2 and decide that efforts would be better served in learning from this rather than debating who was at fault and just who screwed up, the healing process may get started. Just may. I realize we need to analyze what went wrong, who hesitated too long, who did or didn't listen to requests to evacuate, but there are ways we can serve the victims, evacuees, dislocated people and/or refugees (I immensely dislike that one), so let's let the authorities do that. Let's stop blaming the guy at the top who did what he was supposed to do.

Along with my full time job, I have a part time job at my favorite store, The Container Store, here in Fort Worth. Friday, September 9th, 2 ladies came in and were looking for a small stand to put their TV on. They said that they were from New Orleans and needed something for their temporary housing. I told them how sorry I was for what they must have gone through and one lady commented, "Oh, we got out in time. We left when we first heard the reports of how bad it was going to be." They went on to say they had no idea what they would return to, but were grateful they heeded the warnings. These ladies did not hesitate to leave. Material things can be replaced. Lives can't.

Over the next weeks, months and years, we will continue to see reports on the news about lives lost, animals being shot, diseases related to being in the water and rebuilding efforts. I don't think we've even scratched the surface to see just what the long term effects will be...psychological, emotional, financial, health related, the economy and others we haven't even thought of yet. The rebuilding of the gulf coast will take time. Let's hope that, as I've heard people say, it will be better than ever once that effort is complete.

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