'You come back next year'
Posted: 11:35 a.m. ET
CNN Radio's Ed McCarthy at the New Orleans airport
This story is so tied up in human emotion that one person's story seems to trump the other. It's amazing.
Robert Hopkins is the deputy commander of FEMA's disaster medical team called the Massachusetts 2. He's been doing this kind of work for 30 years. He's been through Hurricanes Andrew, Hugo, Isabel and the World Trade Center disaster and says this tops any rescue mission.
I also spoke to Alonzo Douglas who was at the New Orleans airport Tuesday night getting medical attention.
He's from Bayou St. John, in the Esplanade area of New Orleans. He relented being picked up by a helicopter and didn't want to leave. He wants to go back after he gets medical attention. He even said, "Give me my antibiotics and let me go home."
This is the prevailing attitude here. A lot of people did not want to evacuate, and they still don't. A lot of people would prefer to go back home rather than going somewhere else.
As I left the airport, Douglas shook my hand and told me he had something for me. He came out with a T-shirt from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival from 2003 and said, "You come back next year; we'll have a great time."
That's how people try to stay optimistic in this awful period. It's just amazing.
(From the CNN New Orleans Blog)