- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 6, 2006

NEW ORLEANS — Nearly 10 months after Katrina, many of the people who once lived here are still gone, the ruins of what were once their homes baking in the hot Louisiana sun.

It doesn’t matter what neighborhood: Lower Ninth, New Orleans East, Lakeview, or Broadmoor. Each is scarred with the neon-colored rescue codes spraypainted on the doors, windows, cars, and tossed-out refrigerators.

Some are faded and illegible, marking the story behind the paint as a mystery. Did the people make it out? Were they able to save their dog? Where are they now?

The codes, painted inside a big “X”, are meant to impart quick information. The upper quadrant identifies the date. On the left, the agency or group doing the search. The right is for pets. The bottom is for the number of bodies.

The codes are meant to quantify the city’s death and destruction, but today I saw someone had spraypainted a bit more optimistic message on a house at the corner of Polk and Canal Boulevard: “1 Live.”

New Orleans, struggling back from the edge.

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