The humanity behind the headlines

Taryn Troyer
9/30/2006 - 2:24pm
The only truly concrete recollections I have of Katrina's initial strike on New Orleans last summer are my own selfish preoccupations involving another national tragedy in early September casting an even greater cloud over a month filled with birthdays and anniversaries within my family- a month which used to be reserved for happiness but now will always be fairly bittersweet. I also remember being rather jaded at ANOTHER hurricane watch overpowering the news, as it was a very heavy storm year. I didn't truly realize the catastrophic even that was taking place until afterwards, when the media coverage of the aftermath was everywhere and the devastation was oh-so-clear. I felt sick, confused, and absolutely mortified that a city known for it's vibrance and celebration could look like that- the greys, blacks, and greens of a literally washed-out canvas. Seeing Spike Lee's documentary, however, put the situation into even clearer focus, giving me a compilation of actual video footage of the people living through the nightmare, bringing it all to life and cementing my knowledge that it really did happen, and people really did experience (and still are experiencing) this disaster. The personal connection achieved through the interviews and archival footage drives home the feeling of suffering and the anger towards anyone who could ignore the problems of the region before, during, and after the storm. It's become cliche, at this point, but the images capturing in New Orleans after Katrina looked foreign and impossible, and like something that we can only pray will NEVER happen in our country again.