The Honorable Klaus Wowereit
Mayor, City of Berlin
Rathausstrasse 15, Berlin
New Orleans, 25 August 2010
Dear Mayor Klaus Wowereit,
On behalf of the city of New Orleans, I would like to extend my warmest greetings and my sincere thanks to you and the citizens of Berlin. Over the past five years, Berliners have shown a remarkable level of empathy and support for those who were affected by Hurricane Katrina. The provision of food rations, medical supplies, and water purification saved the lives of many, and, by providing pumps and THW specialists, Germany was invaluable to the complex and intricate process of pumping the water out of New Orleans.
Through messages of hope, financial donations, and CARE packages, your city has stood alongside us as we have undergone the painful process of remembering and rebuilding. As a city that rebuilt itself many times over the past century, and which stands testament to the unbreakable relationship between the US and Germany, I feel that a bond of solidarity has been established between our two great cities.
I was therefore delighted to learn of the forthcoming “Floodwall” installation, which I opened in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2007, and the accompanying youth outreach program that will be taking place in Berlin this fall. The exhibition pays tribute to the strength and courage of the people of New Orleans and aims to give a voice to the silence which envelopes a city after disaster, using it as an opportunity to bring people across the world together. The exhibition will allow visitors to learn more about what happened, and explore the power of art to bridge two cities so far apart, but with so much in common.
As New Orleans rebuilds and recovers, we will not forget the generosity with which the people of Berlin responded to our catastrophe. I hope that this outstanding exhibition will continue to strengthen the relations between our citizens. I look forward to many years of friendship and cooperation between our two cities, and hope to welcome you to New Orleans in the future to witness our remarkable recovery and unbreakable spirit.
With warmest regards,
Mitchell J. Landrieu
Mayor of New Orleans