Facing a self-imposed retirement, the NFL commissioner’s last year may have been his greatest. Few National level corporate leaders ever have a chance to rescue the morale of a city. Tagliabue’s assurances that the Saints would return to New Orleans meant a lot to people whose personal lives were shattered. He was also responsible for delivering the Saints home opener as the nationally broadcast Monday Night football game including the music and the festivity. More than a sporting event, that evening was one of the most emotional moments in the history of the city. Thank you Mr. Tagliabue, you served New Orleans well. Drop by for a Sazerac.

Thank Gawd the South lost the Civil War! Imagine our recovery without the help of the world’s strongest nation’s government. While it has become common to criticize FEMA and the Corps of Engineers (sometimes for good reason) we could not recover without them. Truth is, FEMA is probably the single largest source of income in the city and the Corps, which has learned much from Katrina, is the only entity that can make the city survivable. Slowly, Road Home money is being dispersed, but at least there is money, and that too is from Washington. New Orleans is truly a federal city.

Fortunately, we do not have to rely totally on City Hall. Some of the best leadership has come from the neighborhoods and businesses. By their nature, neighborhood groups are crisis oriented. Facing the city’s greatest crisis of all-time, they have responded- in Broadmoor, Lakeview, Mid-City. St. Bernard Parish and everywhere else where people care about their blocks. Praise be also to the businesses that hurried to open, providing jobs and hope.

Our recovery would be nonexistent without them. The have been a willing source of quality labor unmatched by locals. Their presence has also helped level construction costs. Our nation was built by hard working ethnics looking for opportunity. While there are always a few troublemakers in the bunch, the same can be said about the native population. The Hispanics would make great citizens.

Some parts of the area are going to get better quickly, others will take longer but a good city will sprout from the muck. Once new safeguards are in place, what happened here will never happen again. Katrina has changed our world. I believe that we will be smart enough to make that change for the better.

Let us know what you think. Any comments about the recent election? Write to elaborde@renaissancepublishingllc.com. For the subject line use THANKFUL REASONS. All responses are subject to being published, as edited, in this newsletter. Please include your name and location.