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Thank You
to the World

Natalia J. Garland

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Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans. In response, over 90 countries pledged money or other assistance to the survivors. Countries large and small, rich and poor, put their compassion into action for Americans. Offers of help ranged from 25,000 dollars from Sri Lanka to 400 million dollars worth of oil from Kuwait. Perhaps the most heartwarming story was of the 90-year-old who donated 1,000 euros in gratitude for having been freed from a concentration camp by American soldiers.

If anything can make sense of disaster, it is the practical expression of friendship and unity. We live in a world of, and in a nation of, diverse peoples. Yet, we all have similar needs and shared concerns. The need for safety and basic survival crosses all boundaries of geography, politics and religion.

Our most important responsibility is to use Hurricane Katrina as an educational experience. We need to learn how to solve problems and protect citizens. This includes planning, proper use of money and technology, coordination of private organizations and government agencies, emotional support, and prayers. There must also be accountability on the part of elected officials and civil employees.

Acceptance of aid is a new concept for most Americans. Let us be good stewards. Thank you to our friends around the world for your humanitarian contributions. And thank you to all Americans for your efforts: rescuers, military personnel, volunteers, news reporters, teachers, utility workers, church members, doctors, nurses, firefighters, police officers, and good neighbors. (Written 10/03/05: bibliography available.)

Until we meet again..............stay sane.

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Copyright 2005 Natalia J. Garland