President Bush has described the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as "days of sorrow and outrage" in a speech to the nation from New Orleans.
Speaking in Jackson Square, in the heart of New Orleans' famous French Quarter, Mr. Bush said there is no way to imagine America without New Orleans. He pledged to rebuild the city and the U.S. Gulf Coast, in one of the largest reconstruction projects the world has ever seen. He did not say what that would cost.
In his first major speech since Hurricane Katrina hit, the president said U.S. cities must have clear and up-to-date plans for responding to natural disasters, disease outbreak or terrorist attack. He said he has ordered the Homeland Security Department to review emergency plans in every major city in America. President Bush also said the American people had a right to expect a better response to the disaster and that he takes responsibility for that failure and for proposing a solution.
Mr Bush said he has ordered every cabinet secretary to participate in a review of the government's response to the hurricane. Leading congressional Democrats have called for an independent commission to investigate what went wrong.