Ten years. In my coming-on-early-mid-lifetime, I’ve experienced a few ten year anniversaries. Ten years after the spaceship Challenger. Ten years after high school graduation. Ten years after 9/11. And now, ten years after Hurricane Katrina decimated the gulf coast across three states.
There are many, many, many remembrances and notes and stories and testimonies that will be shared today. I don’t have much of a tragedy to share — all my family survived, nearly all our homes were intact, and although I was without power for three weeks, it was a small price in the larger pattern of destruction. I don’t carry much in the way of personal sorrow or loss.
What I do carry with me is a brick. One brick I’ve kept from the millions and millions that once formed thousands and thousands of homes that were damaged or lost in the storm.
The facts have been known for so long and the analysis of the failures so detailed that it’s almost rote at this point to discuss the day. I do have my own memories and emotions from the day and what happened afterwards for sure. But I think that a better story isÂ one of a single piece of masonry that was in a home for year and years, then ripped away from its place and left in the mud by nature being.…well, nature. We can’t be mad at nature and we can’t fault storms for growing into monsters, but what we can do is examineÂ at a piece of what remained to see if we have better prepared ourselves for the next time climateÂ comes knocking at our door.