NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu took time out Saturday to thank the thousands of volunteers who participated in New Orleans' Citywide Day of Service event. The day of service was the final in a week-long series of events to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. According to a spokesperson with the Mayor's Office, over 10,000 volunteers took part in the events.
Saturday morning, Mayor Landrieu, along with several dignitaries, remembered those who lost their lives during the storm and the unclaimed victims buried at the Hurricane Katrina Memorial by laying wreaths at the memorial.
"Hurricane Katrina took more than 1,800 friends and loved ones from us. Although the American citizens that lay in this sacred ground are unnamed, they are not unclaimed - because we claim them," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu at the Hurricane Katrina Memorial. "We come here today to recommit ourselves to the notion that no American is going to be left behind. Today is about commemoration, but as soon as we finish this, we're going to get back to work. Because, at the end of the day, this is really a story of resurrection and redemption. It's a story about tragedy to triumph. It's a story about overcoming no matter what it is that comes our way. Nothing is going to hold the people of this city back, because New Orleans will be unbowed and unbroken. We will go forward, but we can only do it if we hold each other up and we don't leave anybody behind."
The day of service, which featured over 100 service projects in partnership with nonprofit, neighborhood, faith-based and education organizations, was presented by Walmart and supported by Chevron, Citgo, Delta Regional Authority, McDonalds, Shell, Transdev, Volunteer Louisiana and Zurich. The seven areas of the city that were the focus of the projects were: Central City, Seventh Ward/Treme, Lake Area/Gentilly, Florida/Desire, Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans East and Algiers.
"In honor of those we lost and in recognition of the challenges that remain, we called on the people of New Orleans to join us in a Citywide Day of Service - and I am overjoyed at the tremendous response we received, which reminds us of the awesome power of community," said Landrieu. "Over the past ten years, volunteers from down the street and around the world have contributed millions of hours to help New Orleans build back better than before. It's been faith-based groups, college students, corporations, individual residents and countless others facilitating our recovery. The collective impact of these volunteers - constructing, cleaning, mentoring, training and more - forms the foundation of our resilient city. On behalf of the City of New Orleans, I want to thank the countless number of volunteers here at home and across the world for their efforts today and over the last ten years, and I am very grateful to the sponsors, partners and community members who have demonstrated the spirit of service that has defined our recovery and will guide our future."