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Katrina: The Face of Tragedy
Hurricane Katrina provided a myriad of valuable lessons for a vast cross-section of America. The discussion could easily revolve around the blatant disregard of forewarnings with respect to the integrity of levees in New Orleans. The discussion might focus upon appointing qualified professionals in vital Government posts. Instead, the forum will be examining the impact of placing a face on tragedy.
Undoubtedly, when a face is associated with a tragedy, the impact takes on monumental proportions. The magnitude of such an event has a tendency to migrate from empathy to fear. Conventional wisdom being, if that happened to them it could happen to me. The danger of this attitude is its future ramifications with respect to credulity and confidence. The possibility exists of far reaching effects having exponential consequences upon specific segments of society
Watching CNN during the early stages of the unfathomable scenario; the nation sinking, unfolding before American Eyes. While a reporter was providing an overview of overwhelming devastation, a man, Hardy Jackson, wanderd on screen obviously in shock.
Mr. Jackson, while trying to convey his personal tragedy to America revealed the terror he lived. The reporter, recognizing the man was in shock, transformed from a detached newscaster to a compassionate humanitarian before American Eyes. The moment elicited intense emotion thereby placing a Face on Tragedy as the mesmorized nation watched in disbelief.
Mr. Jackson’s heartbreaking nightmare was relived in America’s living rooms throughout the land, on a loop. As the water rose, he and his wife ascended within their home, until they could go no higher. After literally hanging on for dear life for hours, she finally let go of her husband’s hand. When the reporter asked, “where is she now” with a tentativeness in his voice, Hardy simply said “she gone”.
Tragedy was given a name and a face on this day. It will forever be etched in the minds of our memory. It will never be removed from hearts that wept. It shall not be forgotten by those it touched.
Tragedy was given a Name and a Face in New Orleans. The landscape of which changed the hearts and souls of a nation. It will be forever known as Katrina.