While we mourn the loss of lives and property, there will come a time for a dramatic rebirth of the musical city surrounded by water.
The cost of the damages wrought by Hurricane Katrina are not yet in, but Americans, in our optimistic spirit, are preparing to rebuild. We need look no further than Jacksonville, which saw much of the city devastated by the 1901 fire.
That local tragedy turned to excitement as the city became a blank canvas for architects like Henry Klutho.
The situation in New Orleans is complicated, of course, by the fact that it is mostly below sea level. But New Orleans is hardly unique.
Much of the entire nation of Holland is below sea level. In 1953, North Sea storms and high tides broke through dikes, flooding much of the country, killing 1,835 people, forcing 100,000 to evacuate, while about 300,000 lost their lives, reported a Holland tourism Web site.
In response, Holland built a system of locks, sluices, channels, bridges, slides and gates called the Delta Works. Called the Eighth Wonder of the World, it has protected the nation against another natural disaster. The flood control system itself has become a tourist attraction. In addition, new recreational areas were created along with nature preserves.
New Orleans will need to rebuild its wetlands, its houses, its public works and find jobs for its homeless.
But it will not have to rebuild its spirit.
The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, Fla.)
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