A disappointing remembrance

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, September 2, 2015

I, like most, grew somewhat weary of the hype surrounding the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
Coming from a survivor’s standpoint, I definitely understood the importance of the commemoration.
However, I was disappointed with some of my fellow south Mississippians whose main concern revolved around who received the most news coverage from national media outlets.
When the tragedy struck in 2005, the nation’s attention was drawn to New Orleans and not so much the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where so many lives and cities were lost as well.
At first, I was dismayed at the lack of coverage the Mississippi Gulf Coast received, but soon came to realize the tenth anniversary of this tragedy was not about who received the most national attention, but rather, a remembrance of people lost and the rebuilding of lives and cities.
I finally had to ignore some of my social media posts because they were filled with anger about the lack of attention.
In my opinion, those who griped sounded like petulant children, not grown adults who should be proud of how far they’ve come.
Does the nation need to know our struggles and triumphs for them to be considered important and valid? No.
On the other hand, it is nice to read the stories of survival and rebuilding and they are important to document.
What should have been a celebration of triumph over tragedy became a contest over who received the most attention or which city received the worst damage.
I was proud to share my Katrina story last week with the readers in Pearl River County and if it touched just one person’s heart, then I’m happy.
Some wrote that many national media outlets lost out on a great opportunity to showcase the resiliency of Mississippians.
Perhaps they did, but there’s nothing wrong with people taking pen to paper and writing their own story of strength, loss and recovery and sharing it with whomever they choose. You never know who is reading your story and what impact it may have on their lives.
I read many of those stories of my social media feeds last week.
In closing, it saddens me that some turned the anniversary into a tug-of-war for national media coverage.
In my opinion, what people should have focused on was honoring the memories of those who perished, celebrating lives mended, standing in awe at reconstruction efforts and looking forward to future improvements on cities almost lost.

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