In an address to religious and political leaders at the Washington National Cathedral on Friday, Bush urged the nation to move forward and trust that even among the ruins, the love of God remains at work.
Even as we're humbled by forces we cannot explain, we take comfort in the knowledge that no one is ever stranded beyond God's care, Bush said. The Creator of wind and water is also the source of even a greater power a love that can redeem the worst tragedy, a love that is stronger than death.
Bush made his statement as part of the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the victims for Hurricane Katrina. Churches big and small across the nation have also scheduled memorial services to mourn the dead and comfort the living today.
In this hour of suffering, we're prayerful. In a wounded region, so many placed their faith in a God who hears and helps, said Bush. Our nation joins with them to pray for comfort and sorrow, for the reunion of separated families, and a holy rest for the ones who died.
Echoing the words of many pastors who encouraged their congregations in Katrinas wake, Bush said faith can overcome the fury of the storm.
On this National Day of Prayer and Remembrance, we pledge ourselves to the demanding work of revival, and renew the faith and hope that will carry that work to completion, said Bush. In the worst of storms, and in the rush of flood waters, even the strongest faith can be tested. Yet the Scriptures assure us, many waters cannot quench love; neither can the floods drown it.
According to a recent poll by the Washington Post, the victims and evacuees gained greater faith from the tragedy. The poll of 680 randomly selected evacuees from the Houston area found that 80 percent of victims strengthened their faith through the experience. Furthermore, 90 percent said they were hopeful about the future.
Bush took note of this positive spirit and gave thanks to those serving in the midst of the tragedy.
We're thankful for a spirit seen across the Gulf Coast that faces the worst and chooses to hope, Bush said during the statement. We're thankful, as well, for the many ordinary citizens who heard the cries of neighbors and answered them.
May God bless and keep the souls of the lost. May His love touch all those in need, and may He always watch over the United States of America, he concluded.