As the title of today's post indicates, that is the mantra here in the Lower Ninth Ward. From where we are set up to broadcast tonight (on the roof of a rental truck), you can see not only the devastation all around, but the exact spot where the levee gave way filling this neighborhood with water. We're surrounded by evidence that the water arrived with great violence and speed. This may be among the saddest places on the planet right now. Tomorrow, three months and two days since Katrina, the folks who lived here will be allowed their first unaccompanied visit back to what is left of their homes. Some roads are closed by Mississippi River barges, others by homes that sit blocking the pavement. The streets remain littered with water heaters, tires, furniture... the stuff of life. One clean-up worker, who today was handed a new paper grid map allowing him to start work in this area, told me he assumes there are bodies still here. The odor on a nearby side street would certainly indicate the possible presence of some of the souls who lost their lives when the levees broke. In this region, once you know what to look for, you quickly become expert at knowing how the story ended in various structures: where there are holes in the roof, there was probably an air rescue. At least you like to think of the holes in that way. In so many cases, simply owning an axe made the difference between life and death.
Like our broadcast last night, tonight our lead story will take us elsewhere: the President's speech at Annapolis, the debate over the war and the slow adjustment of expectations. We will listen to his remarks, followed by our own reality check from the Pentagon. We'll also check in on the dire situation in Pass Christian, Miss., where they are simply trying to remain as a town. And we will feature two New Orleans fixtures tonight: Harry Connick, Sr. (who was known for three decades as this city's district attorney long before he was known for his son the crooner) and the jazz clubs that are such a famous part of this place. After our reporting on the desolate surroundings here, it will be nice to end on an up note.
We are again enormously proud of the reporting in the broadcast tonight, and we hope you can join us.