Tuesday, August 30, 2005

All across America, hearts are breaking

The news from New Orleans, so different from that of twelve hours ago, is unbearable. Hospitals are flooding; they're trying to evacuate all the patients. Talk of evacuating the Superdome is the most recent topic. The poor man who had to make an instantaneous decision between his children and his wife, right as their house split apart.

"Where's your wife?" a reporter asked him.

"In the water. She's gone."

Staggering and heartbreaking.

And it's no better in much of the lower parts of Mississippi and Alabama, but at least the water level is lowering there, rather than rising.

I wish there were something I could do, or suddenly to be Oprah and able to offer millions for aid, or anything -just anything - but to sit here and helplessly watch so much horror and suffering. It's impossible to wrap your mind around the devastation that only increases for New Orleans' residents.

Why couldn't they have offered bus rides out of town for the people too poor to leave? Surely there was room for one extra person in the cars of those able to flee?

As wonderful as the relief workers, National Guard and emergency rescue personnel are, so much should have been and could have been done by everyday people reaching out to one another to help. And much of this death may have been preventable.

It is a dark, horrible day for New Orleans, and really all of the US.

All many of us can do is pray. I wish it were enough.
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