Ivan anniversary a time of reflection

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 17, 2005

While we all remember the horror we felt on Sept. 11 in 2001 when our enemies hurled three airplanes into symbols of our nation's greatness, we recall more recently the devastation of Ivan, the Category 3 hurricane that turned our world upside down last Sept. 16.

And even as we look back at Ivan, one year removed, we can't help but feel how fortunate we were to escape the death and destruction unleashed upon our neighbors in Louisiana, Mississippi and parts of southern Alabama by Hurricane Katrina - a storm far more catastrophic than Ivan.

Ivan toppled trees onto our homes. It interrupted our lives by severing our electricity and water supplies. For the briefest of moments we were at the mercy of nature, in all its wrath and fury. But, by the grace of God, lives were spared. Our spirits were ravaged by Ivan, but we lived to see another day.

Not so for some of the unfortunate souls who faced Katrina.

In Gulfport, in Biloxi, in New Orleans and smaller towns dotting the Mississippi-Louisiana Gulf Coast, the body count is rising. Men, women and children, who could have been our neighbors, our friends, our family, are gone. Katrina could have turned earlier and would it have then been Luverne and Crenshaw County picking up the pieces and crying for the people lost?

We will never know.

But as we pause to remember the anniversary of Ivan, let us also turn our thoughts and hearts to our fellow Americans facing the long road to recovery.

And let us keep a wary eye towards the next big storm.

Because it could very well have its eyes on us all.