Seven found this month. Three in the last two days. So badly decomposed, the coroner's office could not even guess their gender. I know, it's disgusting.
I visited Arlington National Cemetery some years ago, and saw the famous Tombs of the Unknown Soldiers. I marveled at the attention given to these nameless defenders. The museum next to their crypts is filled with the medals and decorations from around the world posthumously awarded. So much care, love and respect--I felt proud of my country for making such a fuss over the common soldiers.
And here in New Orleans, going on seven months, with hundreds still missing and unaccounted for, the remains of victims of Hurricane Katrina lie in houses that still have not been searched, or under rubble that still has not been cleared.
The news of yet more bodies being uncovered is sad. But then I heard that they were discovered by volunteer college students, and that made me angry.
What does one say about a nation that will abandon the rotting remains of its citizens who fell as victims of catastrophe? What does one say about a nation that will leave it to the local fire department and volunteers to search for and collect bodies in the wake of such widespread disaster?
I suppose I should not expect so much. This is the same nation that continues to wring its hands over the probable costs to build a significant hurricane protection system, even after more than 1,300 of its good citizens were killed by Nature's unchecked fury.
And I suppose I should be grateful for the students who volunteered to spend spring break here, who are in fact helping where it is needed most. I am. Thank you.
But I worry that the vast majority of Americans are through with this whole episode. They've declared, "Mission Accomplished," and moved on to the next "Crisis du Jour."
Meanwhile, countless unmarked graves await discovery in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. I know, it's disgusting, but that's just how things are in America today.