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Recovery Prayer


From a story about the person who led the search for human remains after Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans:

With fire axes and shovels, the team would then fan out across a vast grid of destroyed homes and overturned cars, seeking the unburied. Cadaver dogs joined the search, ominously sniffing through the rubble for the storm’s departed.

“A good day is when we can ‘clear’ homes and actually let families (know) …  for sure that this person was here – or not here,” Glynn told Online NewsHour in March 2006. “I mean … that’s about the best that this mission gets.”

The searchers stopped whenever a body was discovered. Someone would call a volunteer chaplain. Standing over the remains of the Katrina’s victim, the clergy member would read the same “recovery prayer” recited over 9/11 victims pulled from the rubble of the World Trade Center in New York City:

We give thanks for this person’s life.
We give thanks that this person was found.
We give thanks for the persons that found them.
We ask that they may be made whole in God’s arms
and that they know peace.

The search lasted nine months. They found 117 people.