As you may have realized from the photos and posts this past week, I was fortunate to spend a week-long vacation with hubby in New Orleans, Louisiana.
On the last day of our vacation yesterday – after more amazing food and drink, fun and celebrating, exploring and experiencing, art and culture, people and places, sun and heat than we could have imagined – we decided to spend our last day on a tour of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, which just happens to have occurred 10 years ago today.
It was heartbreaking to see the destruction and the devastation that still remains in many places. It was also encouraging and uplifting to see and hear of the wonderful stories of rebuilding and humanitarianism that have occurred and are still occurring. (In fact, as I type this at midnight in our hotel room, I can still hear the music and cheers of the crowds outside and 11 floors below as Lil’ Wayne, a Rap Artist Entertainer, who was born and raised in the 9th Ward (which is the area that was most devastated by Hurricane Katrina), is hosting a benefit concert right outside the Superdome where an estimated 35,000 evacuees fled for a “shelter of last resort.”
The photo above is the “Scrap House” Memorial to Hurricane Katrina that was built by New Orleans artist Sally Heller and unveiled on the fourth anniversary of the storm on August 29, 2009. It stands across the street from the city’s convention center, where many refugees lived after their homes were destroyed.
The battered house sits in a tree whose bark is made of metal scraps from salvaged 55 gallon oil drums.
Heller was inspired to create this monument after seeing boats in trees and house on top of cars in the aftermath of the storm.
I am sharing the photo below (which is one of at least 50 photos I took yesterday), because this plaque really struck me to the core as I learned so much more about this horrific disaster.
Today, I recognize and honor all those that suffered such horrendous destruction and loss ten years ago. I also celebrate their courage, spirit of survival, rebuilding, and perseverance.
I am forever changed, forever humbled, forever grateful.