Well it looks like
Hurricane Tropical Storm Ernesto is not going to come to New Orleans to help us celebrate the 1 year anniversary of Katrina. But everyone else is apparently coming. 60 Minutes did a special last night. President Bush is supposedly coming, although no one knows where he’ll be (another Jackson Square speech?). Every cable channel is sending a correspondent: CNN, CNBC, The Weather Channel (natch!), and probably even the Cartoon Network.
Some people feel a need to have some kind of monumental observation or reflection on the eve of the one year mark. I kind of disagree. Last year was monumental; this year is just a milestone, hopefully one that marks a path towards something good. One year later who can really say anything definitive or momentous about one of the greatest disasters in U.S. history? Katrina affected too many people and too many communities, and unless you personally have visited one or more of those communities then you have no idea what the impact of Katrina was. If you know, then you know. I live here and was here for the hurricane and, frankly, I don’t know. So what can we really say now?
This is not a time for fireworks or stern lectures. It’s a time for stillness and reflection. I’ll mark the anniversary by spending time with some old friends and some new friends; all of them are people who love New Orleans now more than ever.
I do want thank all the people that helped us folks from New Orleans, and especially those that helped me and my family. You know who you are and, more importantly, I know. I will always remember your kindness, your eager assistance and your quiet understanding. Sometimes silence is the best way to absorb a powerful moment. Tomorrow I’ll be silent and remind myself of how much I appreciated your presence in my life. Thanks for everything you did and everything you continue to do. You all help us keep going and make it easier to think good thoughts. And finding those good thoughts is the most "momentous thing" that we can do right now.