Help is even being offered from across the ocean, as over two dozen countries have stepped forward to offer financial and material support to the American people.
Never in our country's history have we witnessed a natural disaster that has impacted so many people in such a wide area. In fact, as of the writing of this column, millions of people along the Gulf Coast have been displaced from their homes in a period of only five days.
Members of al Qaeda and other affiliated organizations spent a great deal of time blending into the populations of several nations around the world and exploring all aspects of life there.
It is during difficult times like this that the true American spirit reveals itself. I am not talking only of the response of local, state, and federal governments, although they will each play an extremely important role in this effort.
Living in this manner also gave them the opportunity to locate targets and develop methods of attack that would make the most impact on the population, infrastructure, and governments of these areas.
Nearly two weeks have passed since Hurricane Katrina made landfall along the Gulf Coast, and while we are still dealing with the tremendous devastation - and will be for quite some time - we are also seeing increased signs of recovery and help in our region.
Please know that my thoughts and prayers, as well as those of many, many others here in Alabama and around the country, are with each of you during this time.
There are things we can all do to help, including carpooling and traveling only when necessary, in order to save gas during this time. However, there is also something more important which we can all do: buy only the gas which you need.
There has certainly been criticism of the timing involved in getting help to the victims of the storm, and much of it may indeed be warranted. However, this is not the time for pointing fingers; rather, it is the time for offering a helping hand to our neighbors in need.
While the level of support we can each provide certainly varies, it is very important at this time that we all do what we can to help our neighbors - not only our immediate neighbors here in Alabama, but those further away in Mississippi and Louisiana.
At many points during our nation's history, there have been times - known in our history textbooks as panics - when adverse conditions affecting the financial and economic sectors of the country have caused individuals to hoard more than they need.
I am certain more emergency supplemental bills will be needed before this process is concluded. In fact, there is a point I have repeated several times recently which keeps the enormity of this situation in perspective.
Towns and cities throughout the United States have opened their hearts and homes to thousands of families displaced from their homes as a result of this horrific storm.
Since the September 11 attacks, nearly 400 individuals have been arrested by the Justice Department as a result of ongoing investigations into international terrorism. Of that total, over half were convicted as a result of their actions.
The Inspector General issued six reviews and reports on actions taken based on provisions of the act. In those six reports, the IG found that not one violation of an individual's civil liberties - a total of zero - had taken place since the act was instituted.