In the heart and soul of New Orleans, the French Quarter, President Bush tried to ease the nation's post-Katrina blues, promising the Gulf Coast will be rebuilt, and it will be even better
But rebuilding will not come cheap. It will cost an estimated $200 billion.
The president said the nations biggest natural disaster will be one of the worlds greatest reconstruction projects, one in which Bush says Washington will pick up most of the tab.
Remarkably the big easy will welcome back 180,000 of its residents beginning this weekend, much sooner than expected.
But it will not be so easy for everyone to pick up where they left off. For the first time, the president acknowledged that a history of injustice in the region has led to poverty and inequality.
The city will reopen zip code by zip code with little damaged areas like the French Quarter among the first. While power is on in some places and the air is deemed safe to breathe, water remains contaminated. And with the majority of neighborhoods uninhabitable and bodies still being recovered, New Orleans is far from returning to what it was.