One year ago today, President Bush addressed the nation from Jackson Square in the heart of the French Quarter. On the anniversary of the President’s address, John Kerry offered the following statement:

“Today marks yet another heartbreaking anniversary for the City of New Orleans and the victims of Hurricane Katrina. A year ago, President Bush arrived in Jackson Square armed with portable generators and promising rhetoric, staging the grandest in what would become a long line of grandiose political speeches aimed at convincing America that when it came to rebuilding New Orleans, no one would be left behind.”

“When the speech was over that night, the President pulled the plug on his generators, and Jackson Square went dark again. One full year and countless Presidential photo-ops later, New Orleans is still struggling to survive.”

“While hurricane victims counted the hours and days, it took this Administration nearly a year to figure out how to process their disaster loans. In the meantime, businesses shut down and people gave up. Today, less than 30 percent of approved federal disaster loan funding—the money victims are depending on to rebuild their homes and to keep their businesses open—has actually made it into the hands of Gulf Coast homeowners and business owners.”

“On Friday’s anniversary of the Jackson Square Broken Promise, the generators were left home, and the Republican spin machine was uncharacteristically quiet. But this is an anniversary that America must not leave in the dark. We must recommit ourselves to rebuilding the Gulf Coast.”