I Remember the Gumbo Krewe

We remember the gumbo krewe.

They brought pots of food up from Louisiana after the planes flew into the Twin Towers, because food is one way New Orleaneans show their love. There was a collection to purchase a firetruck for the first responders, and our hearts went out to them.

After 8/29, their hearts went out to us. A group of poets so esteemed it is nerve wracking even sending them an email came together this spring for a New Orleans Musicians Relief Fund benefit in New York (photo above).

In the last two years, the support has not stopped flowing back and forth between our two cities, and I commemorate their tragic anniversary today as they have honored ours.

Two coastal, vulnerable and culturally irreplacable cities. There is no learning curve on describing our loss to one another.

"We never felt more connected as a country," is Oprah's comment on her 9/11 Anniversary special. On 8/29, I never felt more disconnected as a person.

My husband's mother, up north for the first time in her life after two years without a permanent home, is heartbreaking to walk with through an antique store. It's a day of, "Maw had one of these." or "We lost this set at the bottom of the locker."

Just try not talking with a New Orleanean in a store. It's virtually impossible. She'll brightly wave a tapestry at a clerk and say, "I lost one of these in the city." For Miss Gloria, there is still only one city.

Oprah said she feels 9/11 should be a national holiday of remembering the tragic day that the country came together.

Not to get all Kid Rock and Tommy Lee at the Video Music Awards, but I feel that 8/29 should also eventually be officially recognized.

It's the day the country, for so many of us, split in two.

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