Bill Clinton told New Orleans to celebrate because they’ve “earned it.” New Orleans, however, is not a city that needs the orders of a former president as an excuse to celebrate.
Clinton gave the keynote speech at the Katrina 10 Power of Community Commemoration on Saturday at the Smoothie King Center. The Hill reports his talk congratulated the city for its enormous progress repairing the damage from the flood in 2005.
“You have got a lot to celebrate, but that celebration must be leavened by rededication… Celebrate tonight, New Orleans. You’ve earned it.”
Bill Clinton went on to explain the phenomenon recovery was an unexpected display of endurance, according to the Telegraph.
“I will guarantee you, if I had described 10 years ago on this day exactly what would occur in the next 10 years, that we could observe tonight, 90 percent of you and 90 percent of the people in New Orleans would have taken sight unseen and said, ‘Thank you, Lord. I didn’t know we could do that.’ So you should be happy, and you should celebrate.”
The 10th year anniversary has brought a number of high-level political figures to the once-devastated city, including George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Obama toured some of the regions of New Orleans struggling to make a full comeback. Although he praised the city for its resilience, he warned the audience that it wasn’t time for complacency, since the city still had crime and poverty issues.
For the commemoration, Bill Clinton was joined by House Representative Nancy Pelosi, who also talked positively about what New Orleans’ difficult story taught America.
“You all know that the word ‘community’ contains the word ‘unity.’ This community would not be broken. Your heritage runs deep. Thank you for your spirit of resilience. Thank you for being an inspiration to America. We will see that Louisiana has what it needs to succeed.”
Hurricane Katrina left 80 percent of New Orleans underwater and killed about 1,800 people. It was also the costliest disaster in American history with damages worth roughly $108 billion. The aftermath of the storm was largely seen as an enormous failure on multiple levels of government.
Bill Clinton also explained that the city had a special place in his heart. He spent long periods of time in the area because of his love of Jazz music, and described his many runs through the French Quarter.
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