The American flag was first raised over New Orleans, December 20, 1803.
That year, President Thomas Jefferson considered New Orleans so vital to the United States’ interests that he had sent his representatives Robert Livingston and James Monroe to France to solicit the purchase of the port city.
They ended up buying all of the Louisiana Territory, which was really just lagniappe. New Orleans was the prize.
Woe that today’s President does not value New Orleans so. Nor does he value New Orleans’ contribution to the growth of the country whose Constitution he has sworn to defend.
If he did, he would not let New Orleans and the cities that have grown up around her lie bare to the winds and waters that surround us.
We need more than money. We need more than levees. We need more than rhetoric. We need more than what may filter down through the bureaucratic levels of our government.
We are lost. Lost to the Gulf of Mexico. Lost to the floods of Katrina. Lost to years of neglect by our politicians. Lost to years of failing schools. Lost to our own apathy and short-sightedness. Lost in cities all around the country, and unable to find our way home.
Mr. President, reclaim New Orleans. Come down to the Cabildo and sign a new Louisiana Purchase. Buy not the barren land you see before you, but the awesome potential that lies in its regeneration. Raise the American flag over New Orleans once again so that your citizens will know they have a home and will be protected by a great and caring nation.