People Get Ready

[ make levees, not war ]

Remembering Eddie Gabriel

Posted by schroeder915 on January 15, 2006

95-year-old Eddie Gabriel was was lost in Hurricane Katrina’s flooding. A network of friends and caring people came forward to help find him, and to offer their memories of him. His grandson offered this message of wisdom (my emphasis):

People, not levees and buildings, are the stuff that makes up New Orleans. And, my grandfather was, more than anyone I’ve ever known, New Orleans’ stuff. He was gracious and kind, dignified and strong, hard-working, entertaining and lived life to the fullest up to the last minute. He inspired people to look beyond their own families to his family in a time of need. He was “Mr. New Orleans” to many — certainly to me.

My grandfather’s New Orleans must be rebuilt. If we allow New Orleans to become a pawn in some political game among the various players, we do a disservice to all who died in Katrina — including my grandfather. In fact, we do a disservice to the Nation. There is no place like New Orleans. The town’s culture has affected every aspect of American life. We are unique. I don’t hear a debate about rebuilding Miami-Dade counties after the hurricane that hit soon after Katrina. No one suggests abandoning the State of Florida or the city of Fort Lauderdale.

Keep New Orleans alive! Keep the good times rolling! That’s what my grandfather would want. That’s what my family wants. Thank you to all of Eddie Gabriel’s many fans and friends for the help and their messages of hope and condolence. You kept my grandfather’s spirit and hope alive for our family.

Keith Gabriel Darbonne, Proud to Be Eddie Gabriel’s Grandson


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