“The way of life you love the most will carry on. You taught us that.”
Twelve years ago, when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the people of Houston stepped up. The Houston Astrodome alone sheltered approximately 25,000 victims of Katrina, and that’s just one of countless ways Houstonians came together to help their neighbors across the Gulf. They opened their homes, their schools and their wallets too.
Now, as Houston reels in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, The Big Easy has a message for their old friends, and it’s one they want the entire city to hear.
The city of New Orleans took out a full page ad in the Sept. 10 edition of the Houston Chronicle, a photo of which was posted to Twitter by Chronicle editor Matt Schwartz. “Both the wife and I got a little moist-eye reading this full-page ad in this morning's @HoustonChron,” Schwartz wrote alongside the photo of the spread. “Cheers to you, NOLA.”
Mark Romig, the president and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp. (the organization that commissioned the ad) told The New Orleans Advocate that he felt it was important to reach out to Louisiana's neighbors in Texas and "speak to them person-to-person, family-to-family, and friend-to-friend."
"They took good care of us after Katrina, and have always been there for us," Romig continued. "We sent them a note. We kept it non-commercial. It was just a note of love back to them."
Read the full text of the letter below:
"To our friends in Texas,
Twelve years ago, you took in hundreds of thousands of us. You opened your homes, closets, and kitchens. You found schools for our kids and jobs to tide us over. Some of us are still there. And when the rest of the world told us not to rebuild, you told us not to listen. Keep our city and traditions alive.
Now, no two storms are the same. Comparing rising waters is a waste of energy when you need it most. But know this — in our darkest hour, we found peace and a scorching, bright light of hope with our friends in Texas. And we hope you'll find the same in us.
Our doors are open. Our clothes come in every size. There's hot food on the stove, and our cabinets are well-stocked. We promise to always share what we have.
Soon, home will feel like home again, even if it seems like a lifetime away. We'll be battling for football recruits under the Friday night lights. You'll tell us to stop trying to barbeque. We'll tell you to lay off your crawfish boil and come have the real thing. But for as long as you need, we're here to help.
The way of life you love the most will carry on. You taught us that. Your courage and care continues to inspire our whole city. We couldn't be more proud to call you our neighbors, our friends, and our family. Texas forever.
We're with you,
Find out more about helping our neighbors in Texas here.