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The headline "A city in ruins" (The Star, August 31) sent shockwaves and the images in print and television portray a story of horrendous devastation and unimagined heartbreak for those whose lives have been turned upside down and ruined. I cannot fathom the pain and anguish of those who have lost loved ones or companions or have missing and unaccounted for relatives and friends in the unfolding aftermath. The destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama and inland communities offers images of reliving the nightmare of recent Tsunami in Southeast Asia and frequent Cyclone that cause havoc in areas that border the Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean.

Our hearts and prayers go to those directly affected by the unleashed fury of Katrina and to the law enforcement officials, emergency relief agencies and volunteers, and public official struggling to contain the expanding destruction and restore order in the devastated communities. The spotlight is on the threatened "cultural jewel of the South," the City of New Orleans. Frantic and heroic efforts are underway to save lives and the beloved City.

It is going to take much more. Our American family in the devastated region is going to need the boundless, long-term, and legendary generosity of American people across our blessed land. We welcome the prayers and universal goodwill of people of all faiths, cultures, and continents to restore hope, shelters, livelihoods, and the ravished landscape. Some precious memories will remain irreplaceable. It is a humanitarian disaster. It is going to take will, resilience, and resources of many kinds to rebuild what has been lost. Each of us, in big or small and imaginative ways, can be messengers of hope in this biggest natural disaster in American recorded history. There will be light at the end of this dark midnight; it will originate from each of us working together to offer our gifts.

Kanwal Prakash "KP" Singh
Indianapolis, Indiana USA

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