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everywhere. I was struck by the sight of a little boy named Alex Shaffer, who come to the beach with his mother and sister, shovel and pail in hand.
It hard to believe that we are fighting the largest environmental disaster in American history. We were at a similar place five years ago when we had to deal with the largest natural disaster in American history, Katrina. It was followed less than a month later by Hurricane Rita. Those storms were bracketed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008.
And although it may not seem possible to some of us right now, we will emerge stronger and I hope more appreciated when all is said and done.
As Alex started to bend down, he and his mother both realized that he was about to scoop up some tarballs. He quickly moved over a few feet, and happily shoveled away at a patch of clean white sand.
Giving up is not a part of our DNA
been restless these past few days, and so have my sons. The place we love is under assault. There are thousands of people up and down the Gulf Coast just like us, restless and dispirited.
I in a unique position to compare the two disasters. My family and I were nearly killed by the storm surge of Hurricane Katrina at our house on Biloxi Back Bay.
Earlier in the day, I gone down to the beach to the water edge. Tarballs Converse Gold Sequin
I keep thinking that this can be happening, but then I take a deep breath and smell it. I look up and see the booms and skimmers outside the window.
But I came to appreciate that Katrina scale was beyond him, beyond any single leader. Bush was our president and so he bore the brunt of criticism, some of which was deserved. Still, I felt for him.
As I watched President Obama ride across the Perdido Pass bridge Monday afternoon, I could not help but feel for him too. This manmade disaster is in many ways bigger than Katrina.
After the storm, I went on a mission of sorts as publisher of the Sun Herald, the newspaper serving the area that was ground zero for Katrina. I worked with Gov. Haley Barbour as one of the vice chairmen of the Governor Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal.
As such, I had the opportunity to meet with President Bush more than once. He took many notes, offered up great ideas and was actively engaged in the recovery.
ORANGE BEACH I am sitting in a rented condominium overlooking Perdido Pass, where my wife and Toddler Converse Shoes Clearance I are attending a family reunion. The smell of oil is even stronger today than it was over the weekend. It fills the condo every time someone opens the door.
A couple of weeks ago, I asked Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen to compare this oil disaster to Katrina. He said that Hurricane Katrina, as bad as it was, had a beginning and an end. I understood exactly what he was saying. So far, this oil crisis has only a horrific beginning.
President Obama just finished his address in Pensacola, having visited Mississippi and Alabama on Monday.
Here we go again: We will show the world that leaving home is not an option along the Gulf Coast; giving up is not a part of our DNA. Just as we done every other time, we will persevere.
Mathews)Oil covers rip rap at Perdido Pass on Monday, June 14, 2010, after the President Obama's motorcade has passed. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is another in a line of devastating events the Gulf Coast has had to cope with in the recent past.
This is the time of year when my two sons and I normally would be offshore fishing, or diving at the oil rigs. Not this year.
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