Nearly a year after Hurricane Katrina hit, President Bush used his weekly radio address to recall the storm's tragic human toll while the Democrats used theirs to call attention to the slow pace of recovery from the storm.
Mr. Bush paid tribute to the more than one thousand people who died and the countless men, women and children who lost their homes and livelihoods.
Ahead of next week's one-year anniversary of the storm, the president noted the many encouraging signs of recovery across the Gulf Coast — but also many signs that much hard work remains.
"We will stay until the job is done, and by working together, we will help our fellow citizens along the Gulf Coast write a new future of hope, justice, and opportunity for all," Mr. Bush said.
He also said that Katrina also revealed that federal, state and local governments were unprepared to respond to such a disaster.
The president will travel to Mississippi and Louisiana next week to meet with citizens and local officials and get an update on the recovery process.
On the same day, a Louisiana Democrat said some parts of the Gulf Coast look like they were hit by hurricanes just yesterday.
Sen. Mary Landrieu used her party's weekly radio message to call attention to the slow progress of hurricane recovery.
"A year after the most powerful hurricanes in history hit America's shores, the rebuilding process is only just beginning in many communities," the senator said.
She said tens of thousands of families are still unable to return to their devastated homes across the Gulf Coast region.
She also said that the U.S. is still unprepared for major disasters — from hurricanes or earthquakes to terrorist attacks.
"Too often federal agencies are slow to move and encumbered by red tape," she said. "FEMA, for example, is but a shell of what it once was six years ago."