I feel like I need to be doing something. As I stand by watching icons of my childhood being washed away in New Orleans, I have this overwhelming sense of uselessness and writhe in my inability to do anything about it. I know there will be an outpouring of volunteers and fundraisers for those displaced by recent events, and I will happily give what I can. But donating money seems so impersonal, so once-removed. This situation is affecting me more than I thought, or perhaps hoped, it would; I have a great deal of empathy for the tsunami victims, their families…but this strikes a chord of “to close to home”. I believe it is because of my selfishness, that I am personally attached to this city by my family’s annual summer trips there, that is the catalyst for my grief. How the French Quarter and plantation homes fueled in my youth my enchantment and awe of historical sites and architecture. For thousands of years, people come and go, but the history remains, reminders of the people and events surrounding its creation. Easter island, Stonehenge, Notre Dame, Hagia Sofia, Little Big Top, Monticello…those who built them are long gone but we are still connected to them through these larger than life bookmarks of our history. Witnessing the destruction caused a pang in my heart, and coupled with the pain of watching those who have lost everything – homes, mementos, even family and friends – it is overwhelming. I am hoping that events such as these will help people to re-evaluate themselves and their values; to be thankful for what they have rather than resentful for what they don’t. Hundreds of people – mothers, fathers, friends and family – have been lost; and with them a city which constitutes a small piece of American history – and I will mourn it’s passing.

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