In today’s weekly message the President focuses on Gulf Coast recovery. He concludes his remarks with attention to what readers of The Watch may recognize as all-risk readiness and resilience.
On this anniversary, we are focused on the threat from hurricanes. But we must also be prepared for a broad range of dangers – from wildfires and earthquakes, to terrorist attacks and pandemic disease. In particular, my Administration is working aggressively with state and local governments – and with partners around the world – to prepare for the risk posed by the H1N1 virus. To learn more about the simple steps that you can take to keep you and your family safe from all of these dangers, please visit www.ready.gov.
So on this day, we commemorate a tragedy that befell our people. But we also remember that with every tragedy comes the chance of renewal. It is a quintessentially American notion – that adversity can give birth to hope, and that the lessons of the past hold the key to a better future. From the streets of New Orleans to the Mississippi Coast, folks are beginning the next chapter in their American stories. And together, we can ensure that the legacy of a terrible storm is a country that is safer and more prepared for the challenges that may come. Thank you
Earlier this week when I began researching the progress of recovery, I anticipated taking a rather negative angle. I was surprised by the strong evidence of renewal and, yes, resilience.
It is certainly possible — easy — to find contrary evidence. But while I began with a negative bias, the predominance of what I found challenged that bias. (See collection of links in Friday’s post.)
In a comment on what was posted yesterday, William R. Cumming reasonably notes that New Orleans will be flooded again. No less than Craig Fugate has said Katrina could have been much worse. A future hurricane — and a future levee breach — will certainly be worse than four years ago.
It should be possible to raise questions of return-on-investment without prompting accusations of philistinism or worse. It is the question I intended to raise when I started the week.
But as wildfire threatens the suburbs of Los Angeles, and another hurricane swirls through the Atlantic, and H1N1 scurries across the planet it is also reasonable to recognize how we all abide on the edge of disaster.
And it is worth celebrating the resilience of human spirit wherever we find it.