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Sunday, September 04, 2005

Camp Williams

By John L. Valentine
District 14

Tonight my wife, Karen, and I were invited to meet with Katrina Evacuees from New Orleans, temporarily housed at Camp Williams. We were honored to attend an interfaith church meeting - which was originally scheduled for the chapel at the Army Camp, but was changed to the Readiness Center, due to the size of the crowd. It was standing room only; in fact, many local attendees gave up their seats for our out of state visitors.

The service was rousing and inspirational in the best of America’s revival tradition. Karen and I quickly warmed to the occasion and enjoyed the music and active participation of the meeting. Lieutenant Governor Gary Herbert, Rep. Duane Bourdeaux, myself and others, were happy to greet and welcome our new friends.

I shared my feelings of friendship with the crowd and a little understanding of their plight. My son and his family were attending medical school at Tulane University in New Orleans and escaped just before the hurricane hit. He, his wife, and their two-year old child ended up in the Northern Louisiana city of Monroe with a few items of clothing and not much else.

The meeting lasted a couple of hours and I felt re-energized. Following the services we were able to visit with a number of people who thanked us for taking time to worship with them. Being President of the Senate has its burdens, but events like tonight make them seem very light.

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