This evening I was watching the ABC Evening News and they spent almost the entire half hour talking about Hurricane Katrina and the approaching one year anniversary. The first two segments were spent talking about what progress (or lack there of) there has been in the recovery of the areas impacted by that deadly hurricane. There is no denying that Hurricane Katrina was one of the biggest (if not the biggest) disaster in geographic, economic, and societal scope that this country has ever seen.
ABC News chose to spend half of there thirty minutes (minus commercials for cholesterol and heart burn pharmaceuticals) complaining about what little the federal government (aka: Bush Administration) has done. They did a huge break down of everything that President Bush said he would do, and what has been done so far. Among those things that were promised and not delivered until very recently was assistance for rebuilding homes. The implication was that it is the federal government's responsibility to rebuild those homes.
One hurricane that many people forget about is Hurricane Rita which hit only a couple of weeks after Katrina in South East Texas. An area that opened its doors to Katrina evacuees. Hurricane Rita reached category 5 before crashing into the Gulf Coast. Though it diminished in strength quickly upon landfall it caused extensive damage. I know this because I lived through it. I was in South East Texas as Rita passed over head. And I was in South East Texas to help cleanup the aftermath.
We didn't wait around for government aid. In fact we had local government telling us to stay out of the area for at least two weeks. The people of our community didn't listen because we know that if you rely on the government for things of importance you are setting yourself up for failure. We didn't wait for our FEMA checks, we didn't wait for our SBA loans, or for the Army Corps of Engineers. We got in there, we picked up what tools we had left, and we got to work. We repaired our own homes. We cleared our own debris. And we did it ourselves.
That, laddies and gentlemen, is the American spirit. We don't wait around for someone else to do something for us. We get in there and do it ourselves. And if someone helps, we thank them and work along with them. We don't say "it's about damn time you got here." We say "thank you for helping me".
So instead of whining about how the federal government has messed something up (a trait that has plagued the federal government through any administration), mourn what happened a year ago, mourn those that died. But above all, do something about it.
, Hurricane Katrina
, New Orleans
, United States