September 15, 2005
President George Bush reassured the nation that New Orleans and the entire Gulf coast will rise again. Bush took the opportunity of his address to the nation to lay down the ground work for the rebuilding of the Gulf coast--a rebuilding process that admittedly will take years of work and billions of government dollars.
"Throughout the areas hit by the hurricane, we will do what it takes [and] we will stay as long as it takes," said President Bush.
President Bush promised aid and support to the hurricane ravaged Gulf Coast. In an address from Jackson Square in the French Quarter, the President promised the complete rebuilding of those devastated areas.
"Americans have never left our destiny to the whims of nature and we will not start now," he said.
The rebuilding effort will be the largest clean up ever undertaken in the nation's history, with some estimating costs close to $200 billion. Nearly 500,000 people have received aid from FEMA and the Red Cross and the President promised more is on the way.
"Federal funds will cover the great majority of the costs of repairing public infrastructure in the disaster zone, from roads and bridges to schools and water systems," he said.
The President also recognized the need for change. He acknowledged the racial and economic disparity that for years has plagued New Orleans. In response, he proposed a "Gulf Opportunity Zone," a program that will help people find work and create tax incentives for minority businesses.
"So let us restore all that we cherish from yesterday and let us rise above the legacy of inequality," said Mr. Bush.
All this effort, to restore New Orleans to the city it once was.
"There is no way to imagine America without New Orleans. This great city will rise again," said President Bush.
To ease the fears of many Americans, the President did mention that all oil operations in the gulf are back up and running. This speech comes at a time when the President's approval rating is at the lowest since taking office back in 2000.