New Orleans must not be forgotten

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 22, 2006

Politics and poll ratings have clouded the nation’s vision when it comes to helping millions of Americans in need.

Our nation and its leadership continues to look at problems overseas and within the political structure, while turning a blind eye to the continuing problems in New Orleans and other parts of the South that are still recovering from Hurricane Katrina.

The tragedy in the South captured headlines and captivated the entire nation for months

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after it occurred last year. Even the rebuilding process was something that helped bring people together with a singular focus.

Sadly, it now seems that this focus is starting to blur, and we are afraid many Americans believe that everything is back to normal in the South.

That couldn’t be further from the truth — just ask the National Guard or any member of the New Orleans Police Department.

More than 100 National Guard military police officers rolled into New Orleans Tuesday to help the short-handed police department following a weekend of violence and crime in some of the still mostly empty neighborhoods.

To help in the rebuilding process, we would like to see the Guard and the state police take a more active role.

Understandably, the National Guard has been stretched thin with recent deployments in Iraq, its earlier presence following Katrina and Rita and the more recent deployment to help patrol the nation’s border with Mexico.

Still, we urge President George W. Bush and the rest of our elected leaders to not forget what is going on right here within our borders.

The war in Iraq and mid-term elections seems to be getting all the attention — while people continue to suffer and countless communities are still trying to rebuild.

America must remain a global force and stay active in the entire world, but we can never forget about all our own citizens who are suffering.

To truly “see” where the problems lie, we need only look south.