December 28, 2019, a twin-engine plane left the Lafayette, LA regional airport bound for Atlanta, Georgia with passengers to cheer the Louisiana State University Tigers football team on to victory.
Sadly, a few minutes from the small airport we will never know why or how Ian Biggs, a skilled pilot brought the twin engine plane down in a vacant field across from one nearby US Post office. Mr. Biggs was one among the five people who died in the tragic mishap.
Lourdes Regional Medical center in Lafayette has the only critical burn unit for southwest Louisiana. Obviously, a plane crash in our city places stress on any hospital, especially if there are burn victims.
A young mother had just mailed something in the Energy Post office on Feu Follet and Verot streets. As she exited the government building the plane bound for Atlanta came down and struck a car parked nearby. The young woman received burns as parts of the disintegrating plane caused an explosion. The blaze brought her with extensive burn wounds to a hospital in Baton Rouge, capital of Louisiana. New Orleans would be another distant medical option if Lafayette was suddenly struck by bad fortune.
Twenty years ago a gentleman on “Fresh Pickins” parking lot nearby detected my accent as that of someone not from Louisiana. “Ever hear of Henry, LA?” he inquired. The Henry native then kindly lectured I must certainly learn about the famous “Henry Hub” which was one of the top ten US targets for the Cold War KGB!”
After that frank parking lot briefing by a native of Henry, I did extensive research to discover how energy flowing to the “upper 48 states” would indeed be curtailed if a nuclear strike vaporized Henry.
In the event of an attack to cripple Henry’s energy hub what of burns for several hundred Henry residents, 2000 people who live in nearby Erath or 127,000 who live in Lafayette? Surely one critical burn unit in Lourdes Medical center would be overwhelmed.
July 7, 2017, found 123 countries from the UN vote in unanimity to abolish nuclear weapons.
August 2020 will be the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s August 1945 incineration.
On this 75th historical marker perhaps all in our nation where atomic bombs were first developed could reflect on the propitious number of 123 burn units and 123 nations calling for the abolition of weapons which will burn us all if we do not abolish them. The former commander of US nuclear forces General Lee Butler (1938) said – “We must destroy nuclear weapons before they destroy us.”