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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Interview with the Dalai Lama; Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; America Remembers 9/11
Aired September 11, 2005 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, as the southeast struggles back to its feel from the worst national disaster to his America in our lifetimes. How do we keep faith and heal the soul when such terrible things happen to so many good people? We'll ask one of the world's great spiritual leaders, his Holiness the Delai Lama.
And one of America's top evangelicals, Pastor Joel Osteen, among the evacuees at the Houston Astrodome.
Plus the latest from reporters in the disaster area, and actress Celia Ward on the devastation in her Mississippi hometown. Lots more too on LARRY KING LIVE.
And we were planning that I would work this Sunday night some months ago. We were going to do a special on the anniversary of 9/11 and talk about terrorism. Katrina has changed all that and while we certainly respect the memory of that tragedy, we're looking at the more imminent one right now.
Let's get an update first. In New Orleans from our man on the scene, Jeff Koinange.
Are they spraying yet with the pesticide?
JEFF KOINANGE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Not yet Larry, not yet. But you know what? That should happen in the coming days because that water level is getting more and more and contaminated everyday. Water borne diseases, danger of an outbreak of disease is imminent, so that should happen very soon.
Larry, tonight a couple of developments. First U.S. president George W. Bush arrived in New Orleans late this evening. He's actually going to spend the night on the USS Iwo Jima, which is right behind might right shoulder back there. First thing in the morning he gets a quick Katrina briefing and then he'll roll through town in a military convoy accompanied by official. He's also going to visit several parishes and he'll see for himself the extent of the devastation on the ground.
So, again Larry, lots of developments happening. Couple of positive ones, too. New Orleans Airport, which was a triage center for the last two weeks, actually opened today. But to cargo traffic only. By Tuesday, officials say, should to open to specific, only limited passenger service. Lots of amazing develops happening just two weeks after this storm, Larry.
KING: Thank you Jeff. And CNN will be following the president and his travels all day tomorrow.
Let's go to Sun Valley, Idaho, where he's heading a conference -- to the Dalai Lama. It's always great to welcome him to LARRY KING LIVE. The spiritual leader of the Tibetan Buddhist religion.
Your Holiness, how do you explain someone who believes in a higher being allowing this to happen to good people?
TENZIN GYATSO, DALAI LAMA, TIBETAN BUDDHIST SPIRITUAL LEADER: Of course, from the Buddhist viewpoint, every event, every experience (UNINTELLIGIBLE) such a disaster, which is very, very painful, unspeakable sort of experiences. Are these things also, is it due to our own past karma or actions? And that is, I think, main causes, and the conditions the world climate conditions is changing, that also one factor.
KING: But it doesn't cause you, your Holiness, to question faith?
DALAI LAMA: No. Of course, there -- I think, for me, as a Buddhist, the real belief of all causality causes conditions, causes an effect, go like that. Of course, the -- even Buddhist own time, in the very eyes of -- in front of Buddha's own eye, is some people to suffer. That means things happen due to their own previous action of karma...
All right, Pastor -- one second I'll be right back to you. Pastor Joel Osteen is in the Astrodome, he's pastor of the Lakewood Church. That's one of the largest Christina organizations, your Holiness, in the United States. Maybe the largest.
How do you respond to that same question? The Buddha said it's the natural evolvement of things. What does the pastor say?
PASTOR JOEL OSTEEN, LAKEWOOD CHURCH: Well, Larry, what I believe from the Christian faith is that, you know, God is control. We don't understand why all these thing happen. I think some of them are just natural disasters and you know, I think that when we come out of this we know that God is right there with us, the he's the God to comfort us and, I don't think we can explain this. And you know, David talked in the Psalms that he doesn't try to explain or to understand things that are too great for him. So, we don't try to get bogged down in that, we just try to -- try to remind ourselves that God is a good God and, he's on our side and he's going to bring this through -- bring us through these times of difficulty.
KING: Why not question it? If he's a good God and he's on your side, why did he flood New Orleans, something he could have prevented?
OSTEEN: You know Larry, I don't think there's an answer to all that. I mean you could go and figure out -- and try to figure out why are babies born abnormal and why did this happen, that happen? I don't think you can figure that out, Larry. I mean that's, the Bible says, "God's ways are not our ways, he works in mysterious ways," and so, I don't -- I think that's where a lot of people get hung up. But you know, part of trusting God is having faith in the tough times. And I think that's what we -- that's what we do as Christians right now.
KING: Your Holiness, what do you say to Americans who have faced so much in the last four year? Four years ago today the tragedy in New York and now this? What do you say? I know you offer a lot of help in many ways, but what do you say to the people of this county?
DALAI LAMA: I deal firstly with the September 11 even, this is manmade disaster and our current disaster that is natural sort of event. So I think -- I think in both cases is it the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of suffering (UNINTELLIGIBLE) those people on the spot. Is they suffer much. So now, I think very important, this moment should not lose hope. And some cases I think people now lost everything. Now these people must build -- rebuild their new home and prosperity of future -- new future. So now here important is self confidence and should not give up your effort. That's, I think, the very important. According our own experience -- my own experience is in no matter how sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope that's our real disaster. But without losing hope and determination and we can work on these problems, this suffering.
KING: Your own life proves that.
Pastor, would you agree that hope is a prime message and do you think it works. You're in the Astrodome now, does it work when you help the flock?
OSTEEN: Oh, it absolutely does, Larry. I mean, hope is what -- all we have in times like this. And you know, we put our hope in a living god, and you know we talked with hundreds of people here, seen hundreds of them at our service this morning, and you'd be amazed at how the tide is turning. These people are coming out with a new vision. They're believing that they can be -- rebuild, there will be a new beginning in their life and that's what -- that's what we're seeing happen here. So, absolutely it works.
KING: And I notice his Holiness was nodding his head.
We're going to go to break, we'll come back with Pastor Joel Osteen and the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama is Sun Valley. Pastor Osteen is in the Astrodome in Houston. We'll be joined on the phone from Jefferson Parish with Sheriff Harry Lee who's been a critic of a lot that's gone on. All that ahead. We'll meet an extraordinary gentleman from Mississippi, Phil Morrell of the Morrell Foundation, as well. Don't go away.
KING: It's an honor, by the way, to have the Dalai Lama with us tonight, and Pastor Joel Osteen. Now joining us now on the phone, extraordinary fellow, Sheriff Harry Lee, the undefeated -- he's served 30 years as sheriff in Jefferson Parish. He's been highly critical of FEMA.
Have they done better, Sheriff?
SHERIFF HARRY LEE, JEFFERSON PARISH: I think they're doing better now we have a little (UNINTELLIGIBLE)-- there may have been a misunderstanding. I was at a Wal-Mart store last Wednesday, they told me they'd try to open by Thursday and then Friday I found out, which may or may not be true now, that FEMA said they couldn't open. And I waited around and waited around until finally Saturday, what I did was I commandeered all of the Wal-Mart stores and told them to open just as soon as they could and if anybody had a problem just tell them you're doing it under my order and if we had a problem with FEMA, FEMA and I could work out our differences latter. But, we're actually getting out fixing stuff and going and getting our people back in town because we believe that New Orleans is just so devastated that Jefferson Parish, where I am, it could be the jumping off place rebuilding the city of New Orleans.
KING: What's the status of Jefferson Parish right now?
LEE: We have been very fortunate. At the last hour, the storm took a turn that went 20 miles east of us and that's why eastern part of New Orleans got of the water and the physical destruction was on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. But if that storm would have come the way they predicted it come, we would probably still be underwater right now. So, we're very fortunate. I understand that as of 7:00 last night, our coroner processed 150 bodies and only 20 of them were storm related deaths. Including the 20 storm related, five of them that I know of died from carbon monoxide poisoning for running a generator inside the house. We have been very fortunate, here in Jefferson Parish, and we will probably be ready to bring our residents home by the end of the week. And like I said, we will be the jumping off point for the rebuilding of New Orleans.
KING: How's Operation Jumpstart. I know it was a plan from parish president, Aaron Broussard to get businesses up and running. How's that going?
LEE: That's a -- they started to come back today and tomorrow and we're urging all the businesses to come back, get started and get their stock, get their stores clean, get their window repaired, get their shelves stocked, so when the people come back home we'll be ready to get going again.
I'm -- I was very critical about some of the things that FEMA did early on in the recovery operation and, but now's not the time to talk about that. Maybe six months from now, a year from now. I'll make known my beefs with FEMA and, in fact, I went 'round and 'round with the doctor yesterday, and I had to go back an apologize because I have a habit of using crude language when I get angry, so I have to realize that maybe the guy wasn't wrong. I went back and apologized for my language and then re-blew up again when he told me, he said, "You know we have our rules and regulations." Well, you know, rules and regulations is what got things all screwed up around here.
KING: You're not getting it.
LEE: I fully believe that when then matter is looked into, we tried to get some boats in the water early on. When I realized that we had a problem, I was the one that made the call in WWO (UNINTELLIGIBLE) radio if there was anybody with a boat to come to a place so that we can get the boats in the water because I was around when -- the other big hurricanes, and most of the rescue done early on were individual fisherman, recreational fisherman that had boats that went in the water. Those boats where not allowed to get into the water when they were needed and I just found out about seven days later one of the reason boats couldn't get in was they didn't have enough life preservers and some of them didn't have proof of insurance. And I'm sure that there's a FEMA regulation that says that. But when a storm of this magnitude hits, you through those regulations out the window and you do what you have to do and start saving lives.
KING: Sheriff, we'll have you back again. Congratulations on your work. Sheriff Harry Lee the sheriff of Jefferson Parish.
Your Holiness the Dalai Lama, what are your followers doing to help the victims? Are there specific things that the people of the multitudes and millions who follow you are doing?
DALAI LAMA: They -- something, sort of, rebuild our life and meantime they rebuild our cultural heritage or -- what we are, then of course, we can do nothing except prayer and also some donation...
KING: Pastor Osteen, what are your followers doing? What are you doing?
OSTEEN: We'll what we're doing Larry, ourself, our church and many other churches here in the city of Houston, we have reached out to the evacuees here at the dome and the other convention center to feed them everyday and to provide volunteers to comfort them, to be there, to listen to them, to encourage them, to try to refresh and restore their souls. I mean, they had so much pulled out of them that, you know, we've encouraged our members and the other Christians here in town, just to take time to pray for them. To uplift them and on top of that, we're feeding them physically, we've raised about $5 million ourselves along with the other churches to provide the meals for the 25,000 evacuees here and the people in Houston are incredible people. Larry, if you were here you would feel such a spirit of generosity, of compassion, you can't walk 30 feet without somebody giving you a drink or something to eat or just asking if you need something.
So, it's -- you know the gospel's all about helping the needy. Helping hurting people. I believe this is what really church should be, not just coming sitting in a service, but how can we help those that are needy and we feel honored here in Houston to be able to do that.
KING: We'll be back with more with Pastor Joel Osteen and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Lots more to come. Reminder, tomorrow night Dr. Phil will host LARRY KING LIVE and Bob Costas on Tuesday. We'll be back Wednesday from New York and Thursday night our guest of the hour will be former President Bill Clinton. We'll be right back.
KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. Your Holiness, has Tibet seen many natural disasters in your lifetime?
DALAI LAMA: Not many. I think in early '50s and also, I think, late '40s I think some earthquake, otherwise, of course as (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Tibet there's no sea coast, so like hurricane there will never be.
KING: Isn't it still hard, your Holiness, to accept -- I know what goes around comes around and there's a natural evolvement of order, but the loss of a child, isn't that difficult to explain to yourself? The loss of a child?
DALAI LAMA: Of course these people are truly innocent and something happened that's really very painful and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to explain, but then it happened, now, of course, I think worthwhile is you try to minimize matters of anxiety or mental suffering so that you can -- you can build your future more, I think, effectively. If your mind totally dominated by sadness or trauma then that will be, I think, great hindrance about the rebuild your life -- your new life.
KING: Pastor Osteen, are -- by the way, are you opening, Pastor, are you opening your sanctuary to people coming over from New Orleans and otherwhere (SIC) and other places?
OSTEEN: Yes sir, we've opened it up right now just for the services because the mayor has asked that we keep everybody in the certain designated centers here at the dome and at the George Brown Convention center, but we're always open for anybody that wants to come, but we're just following what the mayor wants us to do right now.
KING: Are many of your parishioners volunteering to help?
OSTEEN: Absolutely, I know we've had over 4,500, 4,000 sign up to volunteer to be trained and our people have a spirit of giving. They've given over a million dollars through our services to the evacuees there and so they have a heart. Anything that they can do, I mean, we almost have to keep them from bringing so many supplies, so again, Larry, this is what it's all about. Church is not coming, sitting and listening to somebody speak a sermon, it's about helping the needy. And we've got all these people on our doorsteps and it's not just our church, all the churches of Houston. The people of Houston have reached out, so it's a neat thing.
KING: What is the scene like for you in the Astrodome?
OSTEEN: It's pretty unbelievable it feels -- well the tide's turned, but a few days ago when we were here it felt really third world. I spent a lot of time in India and it's just a -- and it'll break your heart, there's people lying there and they've go needs, they've got sicknesses and illnesses and there's, you know, it just breaks your heart. But, I just thank God that the tide has turned, I believe, and there's not near as many here. And we had a prayer service last Tuesday night with several hundred -- a hundred evacuees and I mean they were filled with hope, Larry, they were smiling again, they had their joy back and they just know it's going to be a time of new beginnings. And again, we talked about you can't understand it all, but we just -- we just tell them this, you know, don't get bitter, know that God's a bright future still in store. And it seems that they're taking that and I believe it's going to happen.
LARRY: Your Holiness, do you have anything desire to go to the area?
DALAI LAMA: As if, sort of timeframes, and also without causing any inconvenience, some concerned people, then I would like to see, but of course, I've nothing to offer them. Except...
KING: Oh, your presence...
DALAI LAMA: It's a...
LARRY: It think it would be wonderful if you came.
DALAI LAMA: But, in any case, I think Houston, there's already some program there. I think, by the way, I am hoping to see some of the people who gathered there and give them at least, I want share their sort of suffering, their pain sort of experiences.
KING: I think that would be worthwhile for them and you.
At the Astrodome is Dobbie Walton, he is missing his brother and sister who lived in Moss Point, Mississippi, that's near Pascagoula. The bother's name is Dante Lett, his sister's name is Demetrius Lett, also her stepmother is missing, the name is Nona Lett who lived in Slidell, which is very hard hit by Katrina.
When did you last see them, Dobbie?
DOBBIS WALTON, EVACUEE AT ASTRODOME: I last talked to them maybe a couple of months ago, but I haven't seen them in a couple of years.
KING: Where do you live?
WALTON: I live in Houston, Texas.
KING: Have you made any attempt to reach them?
WALTON: Yes, I've called their home numbers and their cell numbers since the hurricane hit and I've been on several Web site and registered with the Red Cross and I haven't had success so far.
KING: So you don't know what happened to them? You don't know if they evacuated or not? You have no information?
All right, let me give out a contact number for Dobbie. If you know anything about Donte Lett, that's the bother, the sister is Demetrius Lett, the stepmother is Nona Lett she was from Slidell, Louisiana, the other two was from Moss Point, that's near Pascagoula. Please contact Dobbie at 281-914-5506, 281-914-5506.
Presidnet Bush is in New Orleans tonight staying at the -- staying on the USS Iwo Jima he will tour the area tomorrow and then go to Gulfport, Mississippi. Speaking of Mississippi, talk about that right after this.
KING: We're back with Pastor Joel Osteen at the Astrodome in Houston, the pastor of the Lakewood church. He leads one of the largest Christian congregations in the country.
And, in Sun Valley, Idaho one of the great spiritual leaders in the world, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan Buddhist religion.
Joining us here in Los Angeles is Sela Ward, the two-time Emmy- winning actress born and raised in Meridian, Mississippi and Sam Haskell, former executive with the famed William Morris Agency helping organize a live aid concert from Mississippi. What's happening with that Sam?
SAM HASKELL, FMR. WILLIAM MORRIS AGENT: Larry, obviously Sela and I both are from Mississippi and when tragedy strikes you have to take care of those who have taken care of you your whole lives. And, the governor called, Governor Haley Barbour, and asked us if we would put together this concert from the University of Mississippi.
And, in talking to the chancellor, Dr. Kayat (ph) at the university, we all decided that the best way to do it would be to go to our Hollywood friends and put this together and take them all to Mississippi and raise money to take care of those who need it most.
KING: And do it where Sela?
SELA WARD, ACTRESS: In Oxford, Oxford, Mississippi, it's called Mississippi Rising.
KING: That's where Mississippi State is right? No, oh the university.
WARD: University of Mississippi, "Ole Miss."
HASKELL: "Ole Miss, Ole Miss" right there on the campus.
KING: You're going to do it right on campus?
HASKELL: Northwest Mississippi was not harmed in the hurricane and we thought that it would be best to do it there.
KING: When, Sela.
WARD: October 1st.
KING: And who is appearing?
WARD: We have Ray Romano and Whoopi Goldberg and called Faith Hill, waiting to hear from her and Morgan Freeman. HASKELL: Morgan Freeman and John Grisham and we just got a lot of people, Larry, Delta Burke, Gerald McRaney, Gary Morris the country singer. Lots of people are calling and asking if they can come down and be a part of this.
I have been structuring it for the last three or four days with Lenny Griffith (ph) in Washington, who is also from Mississippi and who has stepped up with the governor to help us do this.
KING: Do you feel Mississippi got a little short shrift here because New Orleans is so famous?
WARD: Well, I do in a way.
KING: Not short shrift but I mean the attention focus.
WARD: A little less attention certainly, I mean because New Orleans is such a special treasure of our country but Mississippi, I mean you have to understand half the counties in Mississippi are declared a disaster area and 90 square miles of all the coastline, you know, between Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama are virtually destroyed. So, you've got displaced people all over and Mississippi has taken in quite a number from Louisiana, as well as Mississippi.
KING: How is your home?
WARD: My home was damaged. We had 100 mile-an-hour winds there in Meridian, which is three hours from the coastline. I just talked to my girlfriend Sherry Berry (ph) who is the executive director of Red Cross there and they only have a staff of four people. They've had 63,000 volunteers. They fed 7.5 million hot meals, 6.2 million snacks, if you can imagine.
And all these grassroots groups have popped up, which is really why the communities have rallied to help these people. It's what really is making a huge difference, like they started a community clothes, I made little notes for myself so I wouldn't forget because this is so astounding, community clothes closet in an abandoned building where they strung wire and hung clothes that people have donated so that survivors can go to the shelter there and pick whatever they need.
KING: Do you have relatives there Sam?
HASKELL: I do. I have family in northeast Mississippi and while they were safe with just a little wind and rain damage we had friends on the coast who lost everything. And, one of the things that's most important, Larry, is that these kinds of crises bring heroes to the forefront, Governor Haley Barbour for instance, Spring who gave phones to all the people down in Mississippi.
KING: Phil Morrell who will be on later.
HASKELL: Yes, Phil Morrell.
KING: He's unbelievable. HASKELL: Yes, is a hero and when you think about it Mississippi Power brought 10,000 people in from all over the country to help them restore people's power down there. The ASPCA has reunited pets with their families. I mean all sorts of heroes are emerging.
KING: Pastor Osteen, do you find many Mississippians at the Astrodome?
OSTEEN: You know, Larry, I have not run into many people from Mississippi. It's mainly New Orleans is what we're seeing here. Personally that's what I've seen. I don't know if I'm wrong but that's what I've seen.
KING: Do you know, Sela, where -- the Mississippians who were evacuated where they went?
WARD: North in Mississippi and Alabama.
KING: North, safe ground.
WARD: Yes. Yes, safe ground.
HASKELL: And into Alabama.
WARD: And into Alabama as well. Communities have up and -- we've even gotten calls in Meridian from Ohio offering to -- they want to adopt a family.
KING: It's unbelievable the amount of people doing that.
WARD: Oh, it's incredible, a house you know for -- for a family of four and giving them a car and have a job ready for them. It's extraordinary.
HASKELL: I got a call from Max Mutchnick, the executive producer of "Will and Grace" who said "Sam, I want to adopt a family in Mississippi and pay all their bills for a year." I mean it's amazing what people are doing.
KING: Your Holiness, have you spent much time in the American south?
HIS HOLINESS, THE DALAI LAMA: About I think about ten days, then go to New York. Oh, I'm sorry (INAUDIBLE).
KING: I was asking if you have been in the south in America much.
DALAI LAMA: Yes, not much but a few occasions.
KING: They're looking forward to your coming. You will help a lot.
Sela will be coming back with us. If people want more information what should they do, a number to contact you?
HASKELL: There will be all sorts of information released in the press this next week about Mississippi Rising I'm sure.
KING: And the date is October?
HASKELL: October the 1st, Saturday night in Oxford, Mississippi.
KING: At the U of M.
HASKELL: At the University of Mississippi.
KING: Sela will come back with us when Phil Morrell joins us. We thank Sam Haskell, the former executive at William Morris, Mississippians both.
We'll be right back.
KING: Joining us at the Astrodome is Darlene Preston. Her 70- year-old father Leon Preston is missing from New Orleans. He was an amputee patient at Memorial Hospital in Nola. The family hasn't heard anything about his whereabouts. Where was he when you left Darlene?
DARLENE PRESTON, SEARCHING FOR MISSING FATHER: He was last seen at Memorial Hospital in New Orleans that was the last location. That was the last location we seen him at and we haven't been able to talk to him in three weeks.
KING: Have you been able to -- have you been able to contact the hospital?
PRESTON: No, we haven't because when they transferred him we don't know what hospital they sent him to.
KING: And they don't know where they sent him?
PRESTON: No, I've been trying to locate him ever since we received -- we got into Houston, Texas but we didn't accomplish anything.
KING: Now, let me give a number out. If you know where Leon Preston might be, know of Leon Preston, he is an amputee, 70 years old, he was at Memorial Hospital as a patient, the number to reach Darlene is 504-228-8293, 504-228-8293. Good luck, Darlene, we've helped a lot of people.
Let's take a call, Detroit hello.
CALLER FROM DETROIT: Hello.
CALLER: I'm a Buddhist nun in the Detroit area of course and I wanted to ask the Dalai Lama, I'm under one of his lineages, the (INAUDIBLE) lineage, besides my regular daily practice in meditation what would he suggest as an additional daily practice for me to do for those who are suffering because of Katrina? KING: Do you understand that Your Holiness?
DALAI LAMA: I believe the practice of meditation on compassion these things are something like charging a battery, so now the real purpose is implement into action to transform into action. So I think this kind of situation is I think a fine opportunity to carry act of compassion and by nature meditation is something like recharge. When you feel tired and some, even little sort of hesitation, meditate on compassion.
KING: Sound idea.
DALAI LAMA: That gives you more willingness and then implement, transform into action.
KING: Let's go to Gary Tuchman in Baton Rouge -- Gary, what's the latest there?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, 13 days after this disaster, Larry, the developments aren't all negative. First of all, the mandatory evacuation police are saying in New Orleans they'll no longer force people out of their homes. They feel they have the situation under control so they no longer have to physically take people out of their homes. If they want to stay, they're going to be allowed to stay.
The death toll, we must emphasize, we had heard early on 10,000 or more, authorities are now saying it's going to be -- this was a quote actually, "a heck of a lot lower." That is very good news.
And, also the water we're being assured that they believe that water will be pumped. The City of New Orleans will be dry by the middle of October. That's very good news too considering all the water that's there.
And, we can tell you, Larry, there are a lot of people here in this part of Louisiana who have taken some inspiration from this fact that on the first NFL Sunday the New Orleans Saints had a last second victory on the road today, so that meant a lot to a lot of people here.
KING: I saw all the people there in Baton Rouge, wherever they're staying in that arena, cheering like mad when that field goal was kicked with three seconds left to beat Carolina. New Orleans won today on the road.
TUCHMAN: And they cheered a lot last night when LSU also won. People are very happy about that the sports fans here in Louisiana.
KING: Also on the road. Thanks Gary.
Last night Edna Griggs was with us, a Houston resident, volunteering at the Astrodome. Her grandmother is missing from New Orleans. We showed you her picture. Her grandmother's name, and there she is, is Gladys Henry. We neglected to give you the name last night. Gladys Henry is 83 years old, a resident of St. Martin's Manor on North Johnson Street in New Orleans. She's a laid off communications worker. You'd never know it from her pleasant personality. You can see it in that lovely face. If you want to reach Edna it's 713-594- 0056, 713-594-0056.
The extraordinary Phil Morrell will join us along with Sela Ward right after this.
KING: Sela Ward returns. And now we welcome Phil Morrell of the Morrell Foundation. Our vast inside sources cued us in about this extraordinary gentleman and the Morrell Foundation. What does the foundation do?
PHIL MORRELL, MORRELL FOUNDATION: Well, it does a lot of things. The housing for crisis situations is probably what it's known for but it's real mission is to employ people that have been displaced from their places of employment that they were currently in before the disaster happened.
KING: What business are you in?
MORRELL: Logistics management.
KING: And how did you get the idea to build places for displaced people?
MORRELL: well that started after the 2000 Olympics in Salt Lake. We built all the housing for the troops that rolled into Salt Lake to protect the Olympics there, to secure the Olympics and we put together housing in 34 days to house 5,500 troops and that's where it began.
KING: And what are you going to try to do now?
MORRELL: Well, we were mobilized and ready to go to Indonesia two weeks ago and we were just about ready to leave when this happened and we were just so ready for it that we decided to go to Mississippi, down to Biloxi, and see if we could help there.
KING: And what are you doing there?
MORRELL: Well, we got -- we've located several warehouses that we're turning into housing facilities so that people can stay in those facilities and we're working on that. We've got some real estate located that we're going to be able to put up some mobile hotels is what I would define them as.
KING: All these people work for you?
KING: Doing it they work, these are workers?
MORRELL: Well, I have my own staff but we're drawing on the local displaced people for any expertise we can pull out of the community that's living in shelters right now.
KING: And they get income too?
MORRELL: They do.
KING: What do you make of this Sela?
WARD: Oh, it's fantastic. A friend of mine went down to the Gulf Coast, Hancock County which was the hardest hit and took some footage of this woman's home and how completely destroyed it was. And all she kept saying was how desperately she needed shelter, a place to operate from and that's where Phil is so valuably needed.
So, if you are looking at the footage right now this is inside this woman's home. On the outside it looks perfectly fine and then you walk inside and it's like an earthquake and a tsunami all at the same time.
KING: What a joy you must get out of what you do, Phil.
MORRELL: It's wonderful.
KING: If you want to help the Morrell Foundation can be contacted at Morrell, M-O-R-R-E-L-L, morrellfoundation.org or morrellfoundation.com. You got both controlled.
MORRELL: We do.
KING: You can go .org or .com, one word, morrellfoundation, for more information. And Merrill Osmond is involved in this.
KING: Of the famed Osmond Family, right?
MORRELL: He's the president of Morrell Foundation.
KING: He's the president for you of the foundation.
KING: Let's get a call in, Denton, Texas hello.
CALLER FROM DENTON, TEXAS: Yes, my question was for the Dalai Lama.
CALLER: Your Holiness, I wonder what you believe the lesson as far as for mankind is in compassion that it takes such a great tragedy like this for such an outpouring of compassion.
CALLER: How can we show this more on a daily basis for the rest of the great tragedies going on in the world, such as the... KING: Good question. Why do we need an event to show compassion?
DALAI LAMA: I think compassion there are different levels of -- different levels. Of course, (INAUDIBLE) of compassion develop when we see someone who is really suffering but then at another level is the development or sense of concern or sense of (INADUIBLE) compassion people or the situation which evolve to bring more suffering. So, there are many different levels of the way to develop a sense of concern.
KING: It would be nice -- thank you -- it would be nice if we had it all the time and we want to thank you, Your Holiness, for being with us tonight. It's always extraordinary to be in your presence personally as we have been and even by satellite.
And also, Pastor Osteen, thank you so much for all you do and for all you are doing now.
OSTEEN: Thank you, Larry, my pleasure.
KING: Great having you with us. We hope we can call on you again.
We have about a minute left with our guests. OK, now the idea of helping displaced people occurred after 9/11 which is also an anniversary today.
KING: And you got the idea to set up housing for whom with regard to 9/11?
MORRELL: That was for the military, the troops coming into Salt Lake and that was a commercial venture but we decided after that and after some work we did in Iraq on a similar level that we wanted to take this on a foundation level and go to different disaster areas around the world and do the same thing.
KING: And so you also create jobs.
MORRELL: We create jobs.
KING: For the victims of Katrina.
MORRELL: That's really what the mission of the foundation is, is to create jobs. We do the other things because it creates jobs.
KING: What is logistics?
MORRELL: It's making things happen when they seem like they never can happen I guess.
KING: That's good business, Sela, to make things happen when they can't happen. It would be nice -- can you maybe control weather?
MORRELL: We're working on that one.
KING: Your home base is where Salt Lake?
MORRELL: Salt Lake.
KING: But you travel a lot?
MORRELL: All the time.
KING: All around the world?
MORRELL: I do, yes, I've been in Iraq and the Middle East now for two and a half years. We were just getting ready to leave for Indonesia. So, it's kind of nice to be at home but I wish the event hadn't happened.
KING: The Morrell Foundation, you can contact them, one word, morrellfoundation.org or morrellfoundation.com and the date of the big event is?
WARD: It's October 1st, Mississippi Rising concert. Don't forget about us. Mississippi needs lots of help.
KING: We'll be right back with a great close. Don't go away.
KING: Opera singer Russell Watson has sung for the likes of President Bush, Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth, even the late Pope John Paul. Tonight, he's here to close this edition of LARRY KING LIVE with a selection from Amore Musica (ph) CD dedicated to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Here he is to sing "I'll Walk with God."
(PERFORMANCE BY RUSSELL WATSON)
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