Today is Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras and New Orleans is celebrating. Ten years ago this August, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast devastated New Orleans and the surrounding areas. I spent a lot of time in Louisiana in the months that followed.
Despite the tragedy, Mardi Gras went on the next February. Was there every any real question that it wouldn't? It is such a strong part of the city's tradition. And it has kept going on.
The pain came out through humor -- floats that made fun of FEMA, the country's emergency management agency, insurance companies, and the Mayor at that time, Ray Nagin, who was later convicted of corruption. I miss this city and have deep respect for the power of the traditions, the warmth of the people, and the amazing food and music. Happy Mardi Gras, New Orleans.