My heart goes out to all who are suffering as a result of the Hurricane and ensuing floods. The devastation along the Gulf Coast is mind-boggling, and heart-rending.
I'm especially pained by the devastation of New Orleans. Years ago, I lived there and I still have friends there. And though I have been back frequently, in some ways I have never left. The city stays with you - not unlike my other favorite town, Paris; as Hem' wrote, "Paris is a moveable feast." So is New Orleans. I pray that the city comes back - MO' BETTA DEN EVA! In some ways, it will. Buildings and levees will be rebuilt. Other losses can never be regained: the loss of life. But losing New Orleans would be as tragic to our nation's culture and cultural history as Italy losing Venice. That's a loss no one can allow to happen. We won't.