A Letter To America

Nov 18, 2006 by

To anyone who:

Risked their life rescuing people, gave money or goods to charitable organizations, came down to rebuild the city with their own hands, returned to the city to work, live and rebuild, lent their brainpower to the rebuilding effort, put up evacuees, counseled or gave medical treatment to the wounded, let Katrina’s children into their school, temple, mosque or church, comforted an evacuee, showed compassion and countless other acts of kindness which I am probably forgetting to mention here…


You are all heros to me. You have helped more than you can ever know, and, if I may speak on behalf of an entire region, we are grateful to you. We might be proud, but we need your help.

To anyone who:

Opened up their mouth and said that America would be better off without New Orleans, I don’t know if I can truly call you an American. Sure, you bond together when bearded foreigners attack, I give you that–but may I remind you that we’re still in this nation thing together. You don’t amputate a foot just because the big toe is broken, and let me tell you, this nation stands in part upon New Orleans.

Fortunately, it seems that those are few and far between. As a whole, Katrina has opened my eyes to the true human compassion that exists both at home and abroad. Your gifts and your support have given me a dose of optimism that I will carry for the rest of my life.

Last but not least, to anyone who thinks that New Orleans is still underwater:

It isn’t! We are reduced in capacity and humanpower, but we’re up and running. The history is still here, the culture is still here, and the people who are still here still want to see you. Unless, of course, you plan on getting really drunk on Bourbon and puking on our doorstep. Other than that–come on down. Please.

Whitney Lakin
Lower Garden District
New Orleans, LA

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