In 2005, the storm surge of Katrina over-whelmed planned protections and levies, leaving New
Orleans a city underwater with residents stranded on roofs, homes, jobs… a city destroyed. The
New Orleans Jazz Festival is an annual international event of music, food, and culture. In 2006,
the artists, sponsors, and festival planners decided to at least set-up on the Fair Grounds, more of
a “just in case” plan. To the surprise of everyone, thousands were at the entrance gate on the first

Those attending were asked, in the midst of such destruction and loss why come to a Festival,
this Festival? Without hesitation, the answer, “There is where Hope was last found, where Hearts
have been filled, and Spirits have been restored. We come because we are empty, but we know
the festival is where we will find ourselves, our city.”

The children, parents, and families of Buffalo and Uvalde also know about empty hearts, spirits,
and innocent ones now missing at the table, pew, or desk. The people of New Orleans, by
showing up, proclaimed the heritage of all that is Festival, taught us all Resilience, of Continuing
in the midst of all that said not. The families and residents of Buffalo and Uvalde are defining
their own sense of Resilience, found somehow in the funerals of children, the telling of lives
ended before unfolding as meant to be.

A Methodist church in Fort Worth has placed 19 children’s and 2 adult chairs, along with a
Cross, near to the street. The chairs represent these 21 lives. These chairs proclaim, “We will not
be forgotten. Our tragedy will be part of your brighter, hopeful, safer future.”

Resilience – Hope – Faith - Continuing


Leave a Comment