The Unified New Orleans Plan calls for a $3.5 million monument to pay tribute to the victims of Katrina and the celebrate the city's rebuilding -- but some are wondering if such a project should be a priority, or is even a good idea.
"Tucked inside a $14.4 billion blueprint for the rebuilding of New Orleans is a proposal for a Hurricane Katrina monument on a grand, "Homeric" scale, like the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
The idea is to honor Katrina's victims and the spirit of New Orleans, and create a tourist attraction.
But with many sections of the city still in shambles and only about half the population back 21 months after the hurricane, some question the need for a $3.5 million memorial, even if it is paid for mostly with private money, as proposed.
"What will it memorialize? How many people came back?" said Angele Givens, president of the Gentilly Civic Improvement Association.
The rebuilding plan is making its way through city approval processes. While the memorial is a far lower priority than upgrading drainage and reconstructing neighborhoods over the next decade, it is still listed among the top projects."