In the weekly Democratic response to the presidential radio address Saturday, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco thanked the people who reached out to the Gulf after Hurricane Katrina, supporting President Bush's plan to offer "extraordinary" federal support for the region's recovery. "Only the resources of the federal government are adequate to the challenge ahead," she said.
The text of her remarks:
Good morning. This is Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco.
I speak for a grateful state to thank people across our nation who have lifted Louisiana in our time of need. Your generosity and support renews our faith in God and in the human spirit.
Nearly three weeks ago, the unforgiving winds and wrath of Katrina bore down on Louisiana and Mississippi, leaving a path of devastation and human tragedy unprecedented in our history. The destruction is almost beyond comprehension.
We have lost hundreds of our loved ones. Entire communities have been destroyed, others crippled, and countless businesses destroyed -- and with them the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people. And more than a million people have been displaced from their homes.
Even as the storm winds and surging waters passed, the people of Louisiana began responding, with breathtaking courage and in overwhelming numbers.
Their story needs to be told.
While the storm winds were still whirling in fury, National Guard soldiers and airmen, wildlife agents, law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel and the Coast Guard selflessly went into action, pulling survivors out of the water and from rooftops.
They were followed by hundreds of ordinary citizens who answered the call for help from all over our state, bringing their own boats to save their fellow Louisianans.
They gave no thought to their own safety -- only to help and to serve.
They were not alone.
They were joined by thousands of their fellow Americans, who came from all across the nation: military personnel, rescue workers and police officers, firefighters, doctors and nurses, Red Cross volunteers, EMS personnel, and just plain folks driving to Louisiana in trucks laden with food and water and love.
I offer our profound thanks, to all of you who opened your homes, your hospitals, your classrooms, your churches, your wallets, and your hearts to our people.
As long as the Mississippi River flows into the gulf, we will never forget your generosity.
Accept our thanks and hear our resolve: We will bring our people home as soon as we can. We need and we want our people back.
We will rebuild New Orleans and the surrounding communities of Southeast Louisiana. We look forward to returning your hospitality in a safer and more secure Louisiana, vibrant, just, and diverse, her cultural wealth restored to the world.
We need the help of Congress and the Federal Government in this epic task of reconstruction, because only the resources of the federal government are adequate to the challenge ahead.
I want to take this opportunity to thank President George W. Bush. He has recognized that Katrina was no ordinary hurricane and that our federal government will have to help us in extraordinary ways. We are prepared to work as partners.
Some issues reach beyond party. In the face of the human tragedy, which lies behind us, and the task that lies ahead of us, there is no room for partisan politics.
Let the people of America know: We must all work together. We will all work together.
Once again, I thank you for your help and I ask for God's blessings on the people of Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Thank you, and may God bless the United States of America.