Five years to the day, yesterday, Katrina made landfall here in New Orleans. Katrina began a new chapter for New Orleans, and for the United States. The impact of Katrina attracts worldwide attention - one of the film crews in Jackson Square yesterday was filming for Aljazeera!
Well, this year the people of New Orleans have decided it's finally time to close the Katrina chapter, and to leave painful memories of flood and ruin behind. This lead to many mock jazz funerals held around the city, including the one at the Hotel Monteleone, where blue tarps and packaged meals were symbolically buried along with the old girl herself. The ceremony we followed featured a live jazz ensemble, mourners, and a tap dancer:
It was quite the festive weekend, what with the presidential visits and memorial concerts, ecumenical masses and the like. It's absolutely incredible to think where New Orleans is today. Five years ago, in the wake of Katrina no one could have imagined the courage and dedication with which the residents of this city would Rebuild, Restore, and Renew.
It's exciting to be starting a new chapter in my life just as New Orleans is opening the door on a new era. The ghosts of Katrina may still come knocking at our doors, but we as New Orleanians have made a vow not to let them in anymore, and not to rest until we've driven them all out of this city once and for all.
You will definitely be hearing more about this, so stay tuned!