Katrina A Story of HOPE.
Keith D. Moore, OGTV Founder
Today, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G. K. Butterfield released the following statement to mark the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina:
“Ten years ago Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast and became one of the worst natural disasters in American history. Today, we reflect on the more than 1,800 individuals whose lives were lost and the millions of people whose lives were forever changed. We remember the many valuable lessons that our country learned during the storm’s aftermath and the importance of never forgetting the less fortunate among us. Since that time there has been an unprecedented growth in the areas hardest hit by the storm and today with Hurricane Katrina on our minds, the Congressional Black Caucus offers our thoughts and prayers to all who lost loved ones ten years ago and are still working to rebuild impacted communities. We remain committed to our work to bringing jobs and growth back to the Gulf Coast until there is a complete recovery.”
As I think back on Katrina, what’s amazing to me today, is that I remember getting on a flight to visit the hurricane struck city only days after the nightmare of Katrina hit New Orleans. . Almost as if it were yesterday, I remember it being pretty cheap to get a hotel room, and the hotels that I visited like the Marriott and Hyatt were filled with people sleeping in the halls. The elevators did not work, so when you walked up the stairs and walked onto any given floor, you would see people piled up on top of each other making the Hotel their new home. I recall, meeting business people there who were still in a daze, and too much of a mental freeze to carry out leadership responsibilities to figure out what was going to be the relief plan for New Orleans, much less the economic restoration plan for the city. I recall citizens being disenfranchised and angry, the Army Corps of Engineering camping out in the city with engineers and the mass award of engineering contracts, and trailer contracts alone gave the minority business community a wake up call. The wake up call was that minority businesses were not in mass as equipped as the larger firms were to be a part of the firms that were awarded massive repair, and rebuild construction contracts. The large firms, like Bechtel Corp., CH2M Hill Cos., Fluor Corp. and Shaw Group Inc. were some of the well known firms awarded no bid contracts, and did quite well during this season of disaster in New Orleans. The Katrina horror story today, I think most would agree, could be classified as second only to the nightmare of 9-11 in terms of leaving a long, expensive, and destructive impact on the nation. Yes, Katrina ravaged New Orleans, but it also gave America one big wake up call. So today, with an eye constantly beaming on HOPE, OGTV brings to you this rebroadcasted story published on July 13, 2015 by A&E Studios. OGTV calls this,
Katrina, A Story of HOPE
John Keller, a recon Marine and lifetime resident of New Orleans, decided to ride out Hurricane Katrina in his apartment building--The American Can. After five days it became apparent that no one was coming to save the residents who were stuck inside. Instead of leaving and saving himself, John figured out a way to rescue the almost 300 residents of the building—his exploits included fighting off looters, swimming through floodwaters to find help and hot-wiring boats to aid in the rescue.
Three years ago, I returned to New Orleans for a Veterans Conference where the people of that community showed hope, resiliency and a confirmed reason to be thankful for their current lot in life. It was a true story of coming back, believing in redemption. The video feature story we share with you today thanks to the Production of A&E Digital Studios, John Keller, and all of the other John Keller’s of the world today who act as our inspiration gives us HOPE and should give America HOPE. For it is this spirit, the grit, and the heart of heroes like John Keller who are committed to making a difference. As we view this incredible Family Film story, we trust that you will begin to measure the value of the power of training, (John’s training as a Marine), the power of media, and the power of using our skills for greater good. The thing that really matter as John says is "family ,friends, and caring for people”. Imagine if our Government, our Industry, and our Academic Institutions operated from this foundation of truth in their day to day delivery of service.