to the World
Natalia J. Garland
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
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