Monday, August 29, 2011

This morning's Katrina memorial in the Lower Ninth Ward: Photos

Posted By on Mon, Aug 29, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Neighborhood residents and local, state, and national dignitaries (including Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Senator and keynote speaker Mary Landrieu and District E councilman Jon Johnson, who represents the neighborhood and organized the event) gathered this morning at the Hurricane Katrina Memorial on North Claiborne Avenue between Tennessee and Reynes in the Lower Ninth Ward, to honor the memory of the storm—and the lives lost and altered in its path—that devastated the neighborhood, resulting in a nearly 80 percent population loss between the 2000 and 2010 Census counts.

The event began with a performance by the Martin Luther King Jr. Charter High School band:

IMG_1515.JPG

And continued on with a series of speeches from politicians including Mayor Mitch Landrieu, First Circuit City Court Clerk (and candidate for a judgeship in Orleans Parish Civil District Court Division B) Ellen Hazeur, State Sen. Cynthia Willard-Lewis, and Sen. Mary Landrieu, the event's keynote speaker.

Sen. Mary Landrieu
  • Sen. Mary Landrieu

Sen. Landrieu called on politicians at every level of government—city, state and federal—to step up efforts to save the neighborhood, which she said is "not where it deserves to be," despite some positive developments of late (an announced $38 million reconstruction of Lawless High School, which many current and former residents say should have happened years ago; as well as $45 million in newly allocated federal money, announced last week, to repair infrastructure in the neighborhood).

"I'm going to be pushing state government and city government to redouble its efforts in the Lower Ninth Ward," Sen. Landrieu said.

"This is a test of the strength or weakness of the United States of America," she said. "It's no challenge to rebuild a wealthy neighborhood. It's no challenge to rebuild an upper-middle class neighborhood. The test is whether you can rebuild a neighborhood that is rich in its cultural heritage but has some economic challenges."

Sen. Landrieu criticized political leaders' efforts (including her own), which she said were lacking, to rebuild and repopulate the Lower Ninth Ward.

"I'm going to tell the president he's got to do better. The Senate has to do better," she said. "The mayor's got to do better. And the governor better get down here and pay attention to what's going on in this neighborhood."

More photos:

Procession to the Claiborne Ave. Bridge for the annual wreath dedication
  • Procession to the Claiborne Ave. Bridge for the annual wreath dedication


L to R: Current District 101 State Rep. Wesley Bishop (who, following redistricting is now running in D-99, which includes the Lower Ninth Ward); State Sen. Cynthia Willard-Lewis; First City Court Clerk Ellen Hazeur; District E Councilman Jon Johnson
  • L to R: Current District 101 State Rep. Wesley Bishop (who, following redistricting is now running in D-99, which includes the Lower Ninth Ward); State Sen. Cynthia Willard-Lewis; First City Court Clerk Ellen Hazeur; District E Councilman Jon Johnson


Members of the Louisiana National Guard led the procession to the mid-point of the bridge
  • Members of the Louisiana National Guard led the procession to the mid-point on the bridge


At 9:48 a.m., the minute New Orleans levees began to breach, the wreath is tossed into the water
  • At 9:48 a.m., the minute New Orleans levees began to breach in 2005, the wreath is tossed into the water


The wreath in the Industrial Canal
  • The wreath in the Industrial Canal

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