Monday, October 03, 2005

World, meet Warren. Warren, meet the world.

This is Outfall Pump #7. When I was there on September 30, I took this picture. The water is brown, and smells like what it looks like. It smells very bad.

These are the Wood screw pumps, designed by Albert Baldwin Wood in 1913. They are the workhorses of Pump station #7, taking he sewage-laden water out of the city and putting it into lake Pontchartrain.

This is the control room of Pump #7. Inside are very old switchboards that control the station.

This is Warren. He is an older man (I believe in his 60's) who has lived in New Orleans his entire life. His home was destroyed by floodwater from Hurricane Katrina. He has lived in the control room of Pump #7 for over 30 days, and has worked continuously to ensure that his section of the city becomes--and remains--dry. I spoke to Warren for about 20 minutes that day. For a man who has lost everything, he continues to do his duty to help his fellow man. He performs this task tirelessly. I do not know what portion of ourselves contains the will to remain calm, collected, and upbeat throughout the worst times of our lives, but Warren has this portion in spades. He joked with me and managed to smile even as he told me about what had happened to him and his family. He spoke about common sense. He is thankful that his family has survived, even though their belongings have not. He worries about what will happen to him after this event is over. He has performed an essential duty in a time of dire need without anybody knowing or recognizing it, and for this reason, I am posting his story here. The world needs to see the faces of the folks who are working tirelessly to recover New Orleans. So if you ever see this man, if you ever get the chance to talk to Warren and see him smile and tell you a story, give him a hug. If you are a New Orleans resident, be thankful that Warren--and people like him--exist on this Earth, for they are the reason why the city is not underwater anymore. They are the backbone of that which makes man help his fellow man.


Blogger doctorj2u said...

PLease give Warren a BIG hug for me for all the work he has done to save our beautiful city. Too bad the media thought that the looters were a better story than the heros like Warren. Now we need to get people like Warren housing so they can help New Orleans rebuild. Where is all the money that was so generously donated? Business are crying for workers. Many New Orleaneans want to return but they need places to stay because their houses are gone. We need help NOW.

10/06/2005 8:51 AM  

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