On a personal level, the trip a decade ago changed me. Seeing people with determination to rebuild – their homes, their schools, their church, their lives – and hints of life all around us … a sunflower growing amidst a dead whale carcas where homes used to stand … there was something almost impossible to put into words about the place. And yet I tried. So much beauty – the ocean and sand, and even two months after the natural disaster, a stench remained in the air that followed me home and haunted me for months.
The series of stories that I wrote when I returned are what I consider the best journalism I’ve done in my career. The six-part series introduced the people we met and shared their stories with the Valley in hopes that the effort that had been started by a small group wouldn’t end.
I invite you to travel with me back in time and to remember the people who shared their survival stories who were working side by side with Valley volunteers to rebuild after Katrina.
– Crystal Graham
Part one: Impressions of Long Beach (10.31.05)
Part two: A Halloween to remember (11.01.05)
Part three: Rebuilding their homes, lives (11.02.05)
Part four: Life is an adventure (11.03.05)
Part five: The healing power of God (11.04.05)
Part six: Valley responds … or not (11.07.05)