To say is was a full house would be an understatement for the south Louisiana Katrina and Rita heroes event held at the Lite Center Tuesday night.
The efforts to save helpless lives during both hurricanes of 2005 were made by many, and for the reason most say is simply because it is the heart of Louisiana people.
“The bottom line of all of this is that Louisiana people saved Louisiana people. Tonight, we are honoring those Louisianans who were in the waters saving lives.” says former Governor Kathleen Blanco.
Douglas Beinvenu wasn’t intending to start what’s now referred to as the Cajun Navy. An eight mile stretch of boats credited with rescuing over ten thousand people. “From the background I come from I wasn’t really thinking about it. I just did it.”
He says Tuesday night was about remembering the ones he couldn’t save and catching up with those he could. “Seeing them through the crowd here and there. We have a lot to talk about. Just as lot of memories.”
Organizer Trent Anger say the city seemed in total chaos. Then Louisiana native, now retired, Army Lt. General Russell Honore showed up with a cigar in his mouth, attitude and rallied his troops.
“It was a great honor to come back to my home state and be a part of the leadership team that helped with the search and rescue.” says Honore.
In addition to the revealing of the book The Terrible Storms of 2005. The event recognized various community heroes from Acadian Ambulance to people who took time to hold a stray at the Blackham Coliseum.
The main event of the night was the showing of the trailer of The Cajun Navy documentary.
“Without the Cajun Navy, I don’t know how much we would have had to rescue. Once United States help finally came.” says New Orleans Journalist Garland Robinette.