The Rev. Luck serves the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jackson, Mississippi, and Our Home Universalist Unitarian Church in Ellisville, Mississippi
September 2, 2005One year later in New Orleans, one year ago.
I have discovered in times of crisis UU ministers need a way to identify as ministers; next week I will order a blouse with a collar. I dressed in a navy blouse and gray slacks and carried a Bible at times. I was addressed as "Sister" by most until I could clarify. Some ask to hear favorite Biblical passages ...the 23 rd Psalm. I considered my stoles, but they are long and would tangle me up as I sit on floor or air mattresses to listen to the evacuees. Getting up is awkward enough as is!
I spoke with a man, Sunday who said, "Reverend, I've worked hard all my life. I have provided for my family. We had a nice home, and nice furniture. It's all gone now; we have nothing. I've paid my taxes. All these years. But now I can't provide for my family; I can't protect my family....... Reverend, do you know how that feels? I feel forgotten.”
November 20, 2005
Martha Thompson, the representative of the UU Service Committee stayed with me briefly as she did a needs assessment of the Gulf Coast area. I think her report is going to be very important as she has been able to spend more time traveling to enable her to get a larger picture of the distress. She said that each area had significant issues that were different to other areas. I assume she will post a report on the UUSC website. She was very distressed at how little organization is in place to help people; in comparing the situation on the Coast with that in South America and other countries, she said we are less organized and providing less of the essentials for those affected!
"Please tell people, New Orleans is not well. This is a city that is dying, and it could be any place...this could happen to your city. America has a short attention span and this is uncomfortable...but [people need to ask themselves] 'what if this happened to us? How would you react?'"TODAY - TWO YEARS LATER
Two years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is starting to come back - but not for all.
Small businesses in New Orleans still struggling.
Chicago Sun Times: Failed flood of promises
Bush's inaction leaves New Orleans mired.
Official list of disaster victims still untabulated
Bush hopeful of 'better days' ahead
Although Bush argued that distance has allowed him to see the progress that New Orleanians can't see, locals -- from the woman who made an obscene gesture toward Bush's motorcade on Canal Street on Tuesday night to the New Orleans city councilwoman whose open letter to the president called for aid comparable to what Iraq has received -- did not greet him as liberator of a city still languishing under federal red tape.Better days = he'll be gone soon.
"Give New Orleans all that you have promised to Baghdad -- schools, hospitals, infrastructure, security and basic services," said an acerbic letter by New Orleans City Councilwoman Shelley Midura.
Louisiana says it lost 97 percent of the hospital beds in Hurricane Katrina but got only about 60 percent of the money to rebuild hospitals; had three-quarters of the displaced college and university students, but split the money for universities evenly with Mississippi; had seven times the number of destroyed homes, but got less than twice the money from the key U.S. Housing and Urban Development grant program.
Katrina remembered in New Orleans
"They say New Orleans is coming back?" said Sophie Dominick, who lost her home in Violet to the floodwaters. "When? Two years later and we're still waiting. Nothing has changed. Everything is on hold. I've been in a FEMA trailer for one year. I don't see any progress."