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Our prayers to those who need it most

Our hearts go out to the many residents of Louisiana and Mississippi who have felt the brunt of Hurricane Katrina. As &uot;veterans&uot; of storms such as what came ashore near New Orleans, it is with resigned relief that we realize we were spared the worst.

Resigned because we know there is much suffering going on with our kin in those states and because we know the emotional toll it can take on a person who is confronted with the monumental challenge of digging out from under such a devastating storm.

It was nearly a year ago that we were crawling out from our refuge of last resort to look in awe at what Mother Nature had thrown at us. We know the feeling of shock and disbelief that those in Mississippi and Louisiana are feeling right now as they survey the damage and begin to pick up the pieces of their lives that they had fondly gathered for so many years.

If we have but one thought to offer them it is that houses can be rebuilt, possessions can be replaced, but it is the miracle of life that endures, and out of this tragedy each will come to understand that the good in people will prevail, and you will find strength in each other as you put the pieces back together.

Sadly, we know this storm has also taken many lives, and for that we offer our hopes and prayers to those who lost loved ones in one of the most powerful hurricanes to strike the Gulf Coast in recorded history.