NEAL CONAN, host:
On Mondays, we read from your e-mail. Last week, when we examined the complex relationship between the United States and the United Nations, Norman Sawyer from Philadelphia wrote in to describe the structural differences between the United Nations and the Model UN Conference he participated in a decade ago. `Unlike the real UN,' he said, `Model UN gives students the ability to solve major international issues, particularly military conflicts, quickly. Decision-making is focused on national interests for students, while the real UN involves complexities like troop resources, finances and even political corruption.'
We asked our listeners: `What would convince you to evacuate the place you call home?' Mickey Stuart(ph) didn't hesitate. Despite being told that his hometown of Vicksburg, Mississippi, would not be heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina, he filled up his gas tank and stocked up on water and ice. He added, `If evacuations had been in order, I would've left. Anything that can be replaced by money is not worth dying for. I can build new memories, even through tears. I couldn't live thinking I took away my child's opportunity for a future.'
Kathy(ph) from Trenton, Michigan, said that although she was critical of those who did not follow evacuation plans in the Gulf states, she was alerted to the possibility that she might one day have to abandon her home. `I remembered that our home is at the very end of an evacuation zone for a nuclear power plant,' she wrote. `I receive a booklet detailing what to do in the case of an evacuation due to an incident, and I have never read the book. Since we're on the Detroit River and the Fermi plant is to the south, all evacuation has to go west and north, and it would probably be a good idea to read that pamphlet. I'll do it today. Thank you for the wake-up.'
In our segment on re-creating a home after disaster, many listeners wrote in to express what home means to them. Amanda from Cincinnati, Ohio, lost her house to a fire two years ago. She says she now finds home through the eyes of her children. She wrote: `We were able to pick through and find some of the things from our house, even had some antiques refinished. I'm not sure that the house we've lived in for two years feels like home quite yet, but it's the only home my children remember.'
Darcel Harris in Sacramento, California, lost his home in Tennessee and said that connecting with people he loves is his definition of home. `Things are wonderful and create lasting memories,' he wrote, `but it is the people in your life, the spirit of those you love and the way that you love them that creates home. I know that I've been given back so much more than I ever gave prior to that loss, and now it's important for me to create lasting relationships and share my new home with those I love and care for.'
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CONAN: This is TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News. I'm Neal Conan.