Thursday, September 08, 2005


It seems the bulk of the CNN coverage these days is of people either in tears because they can't find family members or people in tears because they have just been reunited with family members. I understand that people may have gotten separated from their extended family in the chaos, but I can't understand why parents would be purposely separated from their children.

Apparently the initial helicopter rescue team was ordered to save the "young and frail." America sat and watched while mothers on rooftops handed their babies to men on ropes and saw them disappear into the sky. Because we did not act fast enough, we forced parents to willingly be separated from their children. It was Sophie's choice over and over again. This separation is not only traumatic for the children and the parents, it seems to be creating quite a mountain of paperwork for agencies to now try and match everyone back up.

I saw one report that said a bus full of children from the Superdome was being followed by a bus full of mothers. Where is the logic in that? If there were enough seats for them all, why not let them ride together? As we know now, some of those buses went to Houston; some went to various other cities. One even flipped over and injured the majority of its passengers.

A woman housed in the Astrodome made a plea for viewers to help her find her husband. She had been allowed to leave New Orleans with her children, but her husband had to stay behind. They believed they would all end up in the same place, but the Astrodome filled up quicker than they expected and her husband never arrived.

I know the whole "women and children" first thing, but I don't know if I like it. I try to imagine my family at the Superdome. I would not want to be separated from Warren. He is the one with all of the survival skills, not to mention the quick, logical mind. I nearly broke down in tears in the doctor's office this morning trying to get both the boys' check ups. Jiro was losing his mind, screaming his lungs out, and I couldn't console him. Even though Satchel was acting like the perfect child (He got a shot without me even being in the room and later reported, "I love shots. And my new toy!"), I was FRAZZLED. In an emergency situation I would not want the stress of being separated from my husband added to the mountain of stress that was already there. But would I want to keep my children in the hell that was the Superdome one moment longer than I had to?

I saw one veteran Louisiana cop in tears saying, "The problem is the men. We got some coward men in this country. They want to be saved before the women and children." He didn't make it sound like loyal dads were pleading to stay with their families, rather that single guys just wanted on first. I can't say I'm down with that either.

Clearly I am biased. I would want children and their immediate family rescued first. Or at least together. But I also saw too many old ladies in wheelchairs sitting on the tarmac who could have easily been my grandmother had she not passed away in January. "Save the old people!" I shouted at the TV. When they showed the scene at Charity Hospital, I rooted for the sick people. Hell, when they showed the 40 year-old man tearfully clutching his Chihuahua, I cheered for the pets. And of course I was thrilled to see that all of my single friends who lived in NOLA made it out safe and sound.

I think what it boils down to is the fact that there had to be a hierarchy at all. In this country full of wealth, there should be no need to prioritize. We should have a system in place that guarantees that everyone will get out.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

"We should have a system in place. . ." Yeah, that pretty much sums up my feelings about the whole rescue effort.

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