Please, let’s not forget New Orleans. In this time of Mardi Gras and Lent and election, please don’t forget that there are those who still need help. In this time of political pundits, military spending, and economic recession there are families who still sleep in tents so that they can stay near the only home they have ever known. And the only life they have ever had.
Please don’t forget the New Orleans. The land of jazz and gumbo, of Bourbon Street and the Saint Charles streetcar is as much a part of the fabric of this country as is Broadway and the California sunshine. The scents and sounds of this bayou city run through our food and our music and our literature. From Toole to Rice, from Storyville to the Mississippi, the subconscious blood of this nation flows through the Crescent City.
Don’t forget New Orleans. And her sisters. And her brothers. The township and parish just down the road. The city and county the next highway and interstate over. The Gulf Coast of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. The scattered children of a proud land blown by the wind and washed by the waters.
We can’t forget New Orleans. The lessons that were taught must not be wasted. The lives that were lost must not be in vein. The tombs of St. Louis remind us that all time passes, but it is the job of those left to make sense of the past. The voices call to us from attic and stadium, from the light and the dark, and they reach out to us with palms empty but full of hope.
I can’t forget New Orleans.