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Rising from Ruin is an on-going MSNBC.com special report chronicling two coastal Mississippi towns, Bay St. Louis and Waveland, as they rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.

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This week in literature class we were asked to write a paper on our experiences in the hurricane. I wrote about the whole time I was in Hattiesburg and Birmingham I was wondering how my house was. My mom has been asking me what I want for Christmas and my birthday -- my birthday's on Christmas.

I can't realy think of any thing I really want, it's hard to get into the Christmas spirit. Most people have trees smaller than than their dogs. My aunt, uncle, and grandfather are coming down for Christmas. If we have jip-board downstairs we can make a room for my grandpa down there. If not he'll get my room and I'll sleep in my sister's room. Merry Chistmas.

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May God bless you and your family this Christmas with warmth and comfort, safety and joy. I'm so sorry. I hope your birthday goes better than you can ever dream. Sometimes it's wierd how things can work out that way. It can start off pretty awful, then can end on an up-note. I certainly hope that is the case for you this year. Merry Christmas.

I know that it is hard for you being in the midle of the mess still, while many of us who had to relocate to other parts don't have to see it everyday. However, I am thrilled for you and others that do have a tree, house vs. tent or car,& living family to share the holiday with. Remember the one who had to be born in a manger, because there was no room at the inn. We can't always control the circumstances that life throws at us, but we can control our attidtude toward them. You are a great kid with a really wonderful family, and I wish you a very happy birthday and merry christmas! (fyi. My son's birthday is 12/22 and mine 12/27.)

hang in there young man...our hearts are with ya...merry christmas

My heart and my prayers go out to you, your family and all who have suffered from this tragic event. I wish whith a snap of my fingers I could help everyone I know and or meet. God hears our prayers and He leads the way. May God bring you comfort and Joy during this Christmas season.

I know exactly how you feel Noah.People who haven't lived thru it really can't understand.They say they do but until they are forced to run away from the only home they know to strange place,with the clothes on their backs,no food,no friends,no $,and have no place to shower or even potty they won't "get it".Imagine having to wear a stranger's underwear,if you can find some to fit ya.God help us all.I'm stuck in a place I know nothing about.No job without decent fitting,clean clothes.I love to work but truck broke down here so here is where I'm stuck.Have a happy birthday if you can.my family don't have Christmas tree or presents or dinner either,heck we didn't have Thanksgiving either.We don't have a house to go back to.But I am so homesick.Believe me, I UNDERSTAND HOW YOU FEEL.Stay safe.

God bless you Noah..and Happy Birthday! I'm so very sorry for you and your family and others who have suffered from Katrina. I was a visitor in your area back in 2003, we were there for Crusin the Coast, and we plan on being there in 2006. All of the hometown people that I met were so kind. I am from North Alabama, and your towns are like ours here, everyone helps each other, and that's what it takes. Stay strong and pray to God everyday! Merry Christmas Noah, I will be praying for you and your family every day.

Everything happens for a reason thats what you have to tell yourself, though you may not understand the reason now you have to trust God and know in your heart that he has a great plan for you and sometimes the path is rough. Last year the place i called home for 22 years was hit by four hurricanes (and yes there are still blue tarps there) but we made it and so will you. have faith

Everything happens for a reason thats what you have to tell yourself, though you may not understand the reason now you have to trust God and know in your heart that he has a great plan for you and sometimes the path is rough. Last year the place i called home for 22 years was hit by four hurricanes (and yes there are still blue tarps there) but we made it and so will you. have faith

I've just read your story Noah. Just know that things will get better even though it is hard to imagine. Trust in God He will take care of you. Here in Australia a place called Darwin in the north was wiped out by a hurricane on Christmas Eve a few years ago. Everyone was evacuated all over Australia. Darwin has been rebuilt and is a great City once again. We don't understand why these things happen we just have to have faith. I know you will see better days. Enjoy your time with your family and I hope you can enjoy Christmas and please have a great birthday. Love and hugs.

Noah, Happy Birthday!! Enjoy the visit by your aunt, uncle, and grandfather. I hope that very soon this difficult time for your family has become a passing memory.

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