Bush returns to New Orleans to mark Hurricane Katrina anniversary

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Former US president George W Bush returned to New Orleans Friday to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, but made no mention of the failures of his administration in responding to the disaster.

Bush in remarks at Warren Easton High School instead focussed on the city’s rebuilding of its then failing school system into a model for reforms.

“On this anniversary the work of making a stronger and more resilient New Orleans goes on,” Bush said. “The darkness from a decade has lifted, the Crescent City has risen again and its best days lie ahead.”

Katrina left more than 1,800 people dead, including some 1,300 in New Orleans alone, and was the most costly storm in US history.

Bush was widely faulted for a slow federal response and for what many saw as his own out-of-touch response, including praising the federal official tasked with overseeing the response despite widespread failures and surveying the city from Air Force One without stopping to meet with residents.

“All of us who are old enough to remember will never forget the images of our fellow Americans amid a sea of devastation and ruin,” Bush said Friday.

President Barack Obama visited New Orleans Thursday and noted the storm highlighted government failures as well as the natural disaster.

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