You can watch the President speak live today at 3 p.m. EST at Xavier University, New Orleans, Louisiana here.
Obama to New Orleans: I stand with you
President’s Remarks Full Text of Xavier’s speech
It’s great to be back in New Orleans, and an honor to be back at Xavier University. I’m inspired to spend time with folks who have demonstrated what it means to persevere in the face of tragedy – and rebuild in the face of ruin. Thank you, Jade, for your introduction – and congratulations on being crowned Miss Xavier.
As Jade said, she was a junior at Ben Franklin High School five years ago when the storm came. After Katrina, Ben Franklin High was terribly damaged by wind and water. Millions of dollars were needed to rebuild the school. Many feared it would take years to reopen – if it could reopen at all. But then something remarkable happened. Parents and teachers, students and volunteers got to work making repairs. Donations came in from across New Orleans and around the world. And soon, silent, darkened corridors were bright and filled with the sounds of young men and women, including Jade, heading to class again. Jade then committed to Xavier, a University that likewise refused to succumb to despair. So Jade, like so many students here, embodies hope – and that sense of hope in difficult times is what I came to talk about today.
It has been five years since Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast. There is no need to dwell on what you experienced and what the world witnessed: water pouring through broken levees; mothers holding their children above the waterline; people stranded on rooftops begging for help; bodies lying in the streets of a great American city. It was a natural disaster but also a manmade catastrophe; a shameful breakdown in government that left countless men, women, and children abandoned and alone. Shortly after the storm, I came down to Houston to spend time with some of the folks who took shelter there. I’ll never forget what one woman told me. “We had nothing before the hurricane,” she said. “Now we got less than nothing.” Read the rest here.
Photo Hat tip Al Jazeera English
Obama greeted patrons at a bakery in New Orleans before delivering his speech
Here’s a video from Riz Khan Al Jazeera Tv on Katrina’s 5th Anniversay
Lest we forget… See more photos here.
Here are a few videos highlighting the Katrina disaster Then and now:
When The Levees Break – Bombing of the Lower 9th Ward 1/8
Spike Lee Interview “If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise
Spike Lee Interview “If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise” [Part 2]
Also, check out this Salon article by MATT DAVIS : Five years later, a richer, whiter New Orleans. Statistically, New Orleans is experiencing something of a boom. But don’t be fooled about the reason why.
We’d love to hear from folks who lived in the gulf, especially Louisiana during Katrina. What has been your experience with the rebuilding of the city, of the 9th ward?
Update: Watch the entire C-Span Xavier U. Address here.