“Never let this happen to us again in America.”

For many that endured Hurricane Katrina, and survived the horror of those days in New Orleans, 60-year-old Barbara Shanklin gives the fitting title to this post.

“Never let this happen to us again in America.”

60 year old Shanklin survived the horror in those days after Katrina, and like so many others, the images and nightmare will be etched in her mind for the rest of her life. She used to visit her Grandparents in Thibodaux when she was six years old. The long trip was made on weekends and on holidays. She now lives in Angel Place Habitat for Humanity, that is on Bon Jovi Boulevard, here in Bayou Blue. I have seen this place, and it does my heart good to know that such good things are going on here to welcome our brothers and sisters from New Orleans. If they cannot make it back to New Orleans to start again, then this is the best area for them to be. Here in Louisiana’s other blue district, they can find refuge.

Shanklin and her three grandchildren are now comfortably living in a brand new house on Bon Jovi Boulevard, which is in the Angel Place Habitat for Humanity subdivision that straddles Bayou Blue Bypass Road. But the emotional scars wrought by the storm and the horrors that followed will never completely heal, Shanklin told a group of Louisiana college students who are spending their spring break working on other new houses in the neighborhood.

Take in the words of this woman, and understand what happened to our people here. This is what you don’t read any more in the newspapers a year and a half later.

“What happened in New Orleans is something that should never happen again,” she said. “Never let this happen to us again in America.”

“It was something like a Holocaust,” Shanklin added, describing sheets pulled over bodies “in the gutter” outside the Louisiana Superdome, clogged highways leading out of New Orleans and filthy rest stops bursting at the seams with Katrina’s victims.

The most-damaging psychological effect of the storm, however, was “knowing you were homeless … there was nothing back there for you to get,” Shanklin said.

“I’m telling you young people … it’s something that I’ll never get over,” Shanklin added. “I cry every night.”

You are not alone Barbara Shanklin, you are among family here. You may not be in New Orleans, but you are still home. We have not forgotten, and we shall never forget what happened. We are family!

Out of Iraq, into New Orleans!

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5 Responses to “Never let this happen to us again in America.”

  1. Jonathan says:

    I agree with never again. But when it happened, none of us wanted it to happen either. So what are we going to do about it, starting right now, to be sure that it never happens again?

  2. elmercreek says:

    Jonathon

    So what are we going to do about it, starting right now

    How about working to get rid of this government that is more responsive to it’s corporate sponsors than the citizens of this country. That goes for Republicans and Democrats alike. Lobbying and election financing changes should be high on the list. Until these are changed, our elected officials will never really represent the people that elected them.

  3. pen says:

    I don’t think either party gives tinkers damn about what is still not being done in NOLA.
    Some hold miss. up at an example of what people are doing for themselves and not looking for a handout which is an insult to the people of NOLA and not accurate.

    There are still many places in ol miss. and along the gulf that aren’t being rebuilt and the residents are hurting.

    All we hear is rebuilding Iraq and frankly I’m sick of it.

    bush and this congress send billions to Iraq and we can’t even get a major American port city cleaned up.

    They ask for support of their polices (bush and Dems) but neither are doing nearly enough to help American’s at home.

    Instead of a surge in Baghdad they need a surge of police in NOLA and other major American cities where the murder rates have jumped sky high.

    As to what it will take?
    I think it will take the American public a.k.a. grass roots to build a campaign to help put the city and the region on its feet.

    These pictures should be front and center of examples of what this government and its corrupt leaders did to their own people.

    The American people will have to once again bypass the democrats and rethugs and do it ourselves as both parties have become slaves to corporations, movie star and special interest money.

    John Edwards used the 9th ward as a photo op and as usual hasn’t been back since. The next time a politician comes to NOLA and uses it as a photo op I don’t care who it is the people are to picket and embarrass the heck out of them.

    Hurricane season is coming, tornado season is here and drought is ever present we can’t depend on dems or rethugs or any of the sorry candidates running in 08 to help the gulf coast or our own states when in need.

  4. Donnie

    You make me proud. 🙂

    We could use a list of things folks need down there still. I’m half asleep but let’s talk soon.

    PS.. I think Pen’s comments above would make a great follow up post.

  5. Pamela,

    I’m thinking of a post to follow up with this one. I went to have a tire repaired today, and the guy that worked on it was one of the evacuees that we have living here now. He wants to go back one day to NOLA, but his wife does not. He said he was lucky, because they had family that lived here. I plan to go back and get some photos of Bon Jovi Boulevard. It’s like a 10 or 15 minute ride from where I live. I make you proud? I sure hope I don’t get a big head! 😆