August 24, 2006 | New Orleans

As we approach the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, newspaper articles and documentaries on television will bring back the vivid memories of how New Orleans was devastated by the worst natural disaster in US History.

We will be reminded of the levee failures and who are to blame, that 80% of New Orleans was flooded, and that looting and crime were out of control. We will be reminded of the lives that were lost, the neighborhoods and homes that were destroyed and all of the small businesses that may never come back.

Since tourism supports a large percentage of our city's revenue stream and employs over 80,000 workers, we thank God every day that the life blood of our tourism industry, the French Quarter, Central Business District and historic Garden District, were not affected by the flood waters.

The surrounding neighborhoods in Central City, Lakeview, Gentilly, New Orleans East, Upper and Lower Ninth Wards, thousands of homes in Jefferson Parish, St. Tammany Parish and the entire Parish of St. Bernard were not as fortunate. We have been through a great deal of misery this past year. While we still have a long way to go to recover, we must continue to fight for our joy and be thankful for the hope for an even greater "Greater New Orleans". We can correct the levees and make them stronger. In time we will rebuild our homes and our neighborhoods and neighborhood businesses will gradually return. We also must do a better job of educating our youth and eliminating crime in our community.

What Katrina cannot take away and what makes New Orleans a great city is our character and our spirit. New Orleaneans love this city and will unite and respond to adversity. We will endure.

So as you reflect on this past year in remembrance and are saddened for the city, please remember that New Orleans will find the way to "second line" to a better tomorrow and a better city.