The problem with that paper weight that sat on President Truman's desk that read "The Buck Stops Here!" is that it seems to absolve everyone else of personal responsibility. When the buck stops at the executive branch of the federal government it becomes easy to put a face on a picture with a target and start hurling blame at a time when people should be taking personal responsibility. Now is not a time for blame. Now people just need help.
This morning I was blessed with an opportunity to make ready some apartments for families that had arrived here this morning. One family had been rescued by Coast Guard, spent a night at the Super Dome, and been shuffled from one bus to another until they arrived here. They have nothing. Nothing.
Some people think of the wild, carnival atmosphere that characterizes New Orleans and wonder if this is God’s punishment on that city. I’m ashamed to admit the question crossed my mind, even though I knew it was one I should not ask! Frankly, it is the kind of question I ask about places that seem distant and foreign to me. But when I talked to those people I realized they have families they love. They have kids. They have loved ones who are lost. They have lost. They are lost. They are just like anyone else. They are just like me, and now they are no longer distant.
There will be a time to examine what went wrong in this tragedy and who should have done more or differently. Now we just need to help.