I will add my own tribute to the Cajun Navy and to the Cajun people in general, of whom I have very fond memories from my past residence in South Louisiana. My experience of the Cajuns is that they are a warm, down-to-earth, unpretentious folk who are wonderful neighbors and good company. A happy part of my childhood was spent in that part of the country.
Cajuns are as human as the rest of us, with their share of frailties but in many ways we could follow their example. For one thing, this spirit of voluntarism, of neighbor helping neighbor (without relying on the Nannystate government to come and rescue them) is born of the bond of kinship and culture that makes the Cajuns such a unique people. They are also, by inclination, upbeat and good-natured, with ‘joie de vivre‘ an essential part of their approach to life. They are resourceful and ‘can-do’ people, which is part of their colonist/pioneer heritage. They are the hardy descendants of French settlers of what is now Nova Scotia, and later settlers of what became Louisiana. Surviving in a harsh environment and poor conditions made them a strong and tenacious breed — as were many of our own settler/colonist ancestors. But their relative isolation for much of their history (until the recent demographic shifts) have enabled them to preserve much of their distinctive way of life. God bless the Cajun people and all the other (non-Cajun) volunteers who have done such courageous work during the floods.