7 Touching Quotes From Obama's New Orleans Speech On "The Very Best Of The American Spirit"

On Thursday, President Obama traveled to New Orleans to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. There, the president visited new mixed-income houses in the Faubourg Lafitte/Treme neighborhood and enjoyed a meal at the iconic Willie Mae's Scotch House in the neighborhood. He later delivered an impassioned speech at the newly opened Andrew P. Sanchez Center in the Lower Ninth Ward. The nearly 45-minute oration highlighted the city's recovery as well as what still needs to be done. Memorable quotes from Obama's New Orleans speech are plentiful, but these few truly stand out.

In addition to highlighting the many gains that the city of New Orleans has made following the devastating storm and levee breaches, Obama also took the opportunity to boast about the recent uptick in national economic growth. In his speech, he noted that unemployment is on the decline and that 13 million new jobs have been created in the past five and a half years alone.

The president likened the improvements to New Orleans' own recovery, but added that he feels that more could always be done. Obama urged Congress to successfully agree to a national budget before the end of September deadline. (Congress is set to return from a six week recess on September 8.)

Speaking about the Andrew P. Sanchez Center, where Obama delivered his Thursday speech, the president had this to say about how far the Lower Ninth Ward has come following Katrina:

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Obama was somber but also realistic about the storm, acknowledging the failings of the Army Corps of Engineers while also discussing the ways that New Orleans had struggled prior to natural disaster. The violence, economic disparities, and issues of affordable housing and healthcare are sadly all still prevalent in the region. Obama had this to say:


It's been a long and arduous 10 years for New Orleans, which the president acknowledged. He praised the Crescent City's efforts and cited them as an inspiration to the country at large:


The gains that the Gulf South has made are undoubtedly impressive, which Obama touched upon heavily. His confidence in the region's disaster preparedness was evident during his speech:


Likewise, the progress that schools have made in New Orleans has been equally fascinating. Obama cited a marked increase in students graduating from high school as well as those enrolling in higher education. George W Bush will be speaking on Friday at one such improved school, Warren Easton High School in Mid-City. According to the School Improvement Network, the charter school graduated all of its senior class this year. Obama had this to say about the ever-changing educational landscape in the city:


One of the most inspiring and surprising stories of recovery has been in the service industry. New Orleans thrives on its culinary excellence, thus efforts from around the world were made to preserve its iconic restaurants following Hurricane Katrina. Obama touched on one such effort following his visit to the culinary landmark Willie Mae's Scotch House in the Treme:


Obama concluded his speech by commending New Orleans' unique spirit and determination. It's the city's diversity that the president finds at once incredibly inspiring as well as unifying. Obama said: