Meet Deamonte Love, Age 6 and the Children He Saved

The LA Times:

In the chaos that was Causeway Boulevard, this group of refugees stood out: a 6-year-old boy walking down the road, holding a 5-month-old, surrounded by five toddlers who followed him around as if he were their leader.

They were holding hands. Three of the children were about 2 years old, and one was wearing only diapers. A 3-year-old girl, who wore colorful barrettes on the ends of her braids, had her 14-month-old brother in tow. The 6-year-old spoke for all of them, and he told rescuers his name was Deamonte Love.

...Deamonte volunteered his vital statistics. He said his father was tall and his mother was short. He gave his address, his phone number and the name of his elementary school.

He said that the 5-month-old was his brother, Darynael, and that two others were his cousins, Tyreek and Zoria. The other three lived in his apartment building. The children were clean and healthy — downright plump in the case of the infant, said Joyce Miller, a nurse who examined them. It was clear, she said, that "time had been taken with those kids." The baby was "fat and happy."

Later, more details emerged:

Deamonte began to give more details to Derrick Robertson, a 27-year-old Big Buddy mentor: How he saw his mother cry when he was loaded onto the helicopter. How he promised her he'd take care of his little brother.

Thankfully, the mothers have now been found and they've all been reunited:

Late Saturday night, they found Deamonte's mother, who was in a shelter in San Antonio along with the four mothers of the other five children. Catrina Williams, 26, saw her children's pictures on a website set up over the weekend by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. By Sunday, a private plane from Angel Flight was waiting to take the children to Texas.

But, how they got separated is every parent's nightmare: The helicopter came and there wasn't room for all. The helicopter personnel told the mothers to put the kids on board and they would return for the mothers.

The helicopter never returned. The kids went flown to Baton Rouge, and the parents ended up in Texas.

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    Deamonte has brought me something I never thought I'd have on the subject of Katrina. The first tear of joy, after a surfeit of the other kind. May his family be lucky enough to be chosen as the photo-op for Bush/Federal relief, as I fear only such a family will get anything like what they need.

    Re: Meet Deamonte Love, Age 6 and the Children He (none / 0) (#1)
    by Al on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:17 PM EST
    I hope he runs for president some day.

    Re: Meet Deamonte Love, Age 6 and the Children He (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:17 PM EST
    Wow... He's got at least two votes, Al. It should be a walk in the park!

    Re: Meet Deamonte Love, Age 6 and the Children He (none / 0) (#3)
    by desertswine on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:17 PM EST
    What a great kid! And its great that they were reunited.

    Re: Meet Deamonte Love, Age 6 and the Children He (none / 0) (#4)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:17 PM EST
    Deamonte Love - Press Release from Gov. Blanco's Office Press Release Date: 9/4/2005 FAMILIES SEPARATED DURING KATRINA TO REUNITE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES NEWS RELEASE Sept. 4, 2005 FAMILIES SEPARATED DURING KATRINA TO REUNITE BATON ROUGE -- Seven children who were separated from their families during a roof-top rescue in New Orleans have been identified and will soon be reunited with their mothers.

    A 6-year old accomplishes what perennial 2-year old George W. Bush cannot, will not, and must not -- saving lives instead of destroying them. The spelling Deamonte is not quite the Diamond that this kid surely is. Tough and beautiful, and a symbol of COMMITMENT. Bush's symbol of betrayal is in charge of FEMA.

    Re: Meet Deamonte Love, Age 6 and the Children He (none / 0) (#6)
    by LorettaNall on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:17 PM EST
    What a beautiful, brave, courageous and absolutely precious little baby. I wish I could squeeze him.

    Re: Meet Deamonte Love, Age 6 and the Children He (none / 0) (#7)
    by wishful on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:17 PM EST
    And a little child shall lead them.

    Thank God he didn't tell those 2 year olds to pull up their boot straps. It's every man for himself.

    Re: Meet Deamonte Love, Age 6 and the Children He (none / 0) (#9)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:17 PM EST
    Walking down the street a few blocks from where I live this morning, I passed a handmade poster on a phone pole, that said, simply: What would the child you once were... think of the adult you've become?" I saw some read it, and get mad. Others read it, and smiled. Some read it, and walked away looking confused...

    Just when I thought I was done crying I go and read this.

    Re: Meet Deamonte Love, Age 6 and the Children He (none / 0) (#11)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:17 PM EST
    Read it again Angie... it made me smile the second time... and I'm still chuckling!

    Bush went GOLFING on Friday. If you're crying now, you ought to be SHOUTING next week.

    Re: Meet Deamonte Love, Age 6 and the Children He (none / 0) (#13)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:17 PM EST
    My nomination for the next medal for freedom.

    I did read it again. I still cried. Happy ending. But then, there are still so many out there without their children. So many children without their parents. Know what I mean? I'm still crying for them. For the ones still lost.

    BREAKING NEWS: Former FEMA Director and Clinton Appointee James Lee Witt has been hired by LA Governor to run relations between Federal and State authorities. There is more here.

    Re: Meet Deamonte Love, Age 6 and the Children He (none / 0) (#16)
    by Kitt on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:18 PM EST
    Paul in LA:
    Bush went GOLFING on Friday....If you're crying now, you ought to be SHOUTING next week.
    Got a link? How about a score?

    Kitt: "How about a score?" His entire life has just proven to be less than the life of a six-year old. What a loser.

    And some would have you believe the the people left behind in New Orleans are irresponsible people who don't care for or take care of their families. What those parents did for those kids was the ultimate act of love, putting their kid's lives ahead of their own. And for the six year old who led those children and probably saved their lives, well, that story should make George W. Bush, Michael Brown, and Nick Chertoff hang their heads in shame.

    This story is just what people around our country need to read. But in all honesty, look at Louisiana right now, it should be considered a war-zone, not a disaster. Anyone that does not appreciate the help that the country is giving them, needs to just fend for themselves. Because their so pathetic they don't realize whats actually going on. *BUSH HAS A RIGHT TO PLAY GOLF*

    I've been to New Orleans once, and I all sorts of fun driving Causeway Boulevard in a car. This is an amazing story, and one that should indeed be a lesson to everyone how precious a resource children are. And I agree, this kid deserves a Medal of Freedom or, at the very least, special dispensation for a Bronze Star. (No offense to my brothers and sisters from the military.)

    Sorry, I left out the word "had" in my first post.

    This is a great story. I am so happy that those children found their mothers'. It is so hard to believe that a 6 year old little boy carried his little baby brother while leading all the other toddlers to safety. Bush should really speak to this child so he can actually learn something.

    It's so simple that even a 6-year old gets it: if you want to help, just hold out your hand and someone will take it. We are all hungry for leaders.

    My question is... who lied to the mothers when the children were being evacuated? Why didn't they come back? What the mothers must have gone through... believing that they would be with their children as soon as the helicopter came back... and when it didn't come back? The agony of not knowing why, where, when or even if they would see their babies again!

    Kudos to Deamonte! What a brave little boy! It would be nice to see him rewarded for his heroics... but I'd rather see it done without Bush's involvment... I'd hate to see Bush steal this little boys' spotlight and try to ride his coat tails....

    Dang. Bet Bush gets him to be a part of his SOTU address in Jan, 2006.

    Please, does anyone know how we can nominate this brave little boy for a medal of honor, a flag of courage in the face of destruction? Let us all be inspired, this 6 year old child is a true hero, and wonderful role model, may great things befall him during his lifetime.

    He has my vote i have a 5 year old bless that strong boy bless him and all those babies and if there is a god i hope he kicks satan out of our presidents chair

    Someone tell me, if these children were rescued how did they end up wandering alone, and why is that considered a "rescue"

    I find this little boy to be very inspirational, in this time of complete devastation, look what he's done. Not only should his mother be extremely proud, we all should be. Let him be the example of what we should be.

    At first, when I read it, it really touched me, I was teary, thinking what a brave kid leading these little kids to safety.. and then I was like, wait a minute, the helicopter rescued them. Probably drop them off at the place, maybe on a road, and so they start walking down the road to maybe the building or whatever. I'm sorry, but it doesn't sound that inspire to me, if he like lead the kids from disaster and walks so long to the place, then he'd be a hero. But please, the mothers put them on the helicopter, they drop him off on the road, he walk to the building, that doesn't mean much for me.

    Maybe he's a real hero, but I can't extract that from this story. The media always take one thing and blow it up to make it a story, like the supposively oil-crisis after the hurricane.. some idiots went on TV and say we won't have anymore oil, and the next thing you know, cars line up for like 2 hours to get gases, and everytime they waste a gallon or two, they fill it again.. that was why the gas was drain up quick, but guess what, we still have gas.

    Deamonte is deffinately an inspiration. He was intelligent, responsible and unselfish enough to keep all of those children together in the midst if all the chaos. They were on the street with an infant and he held on. We should establish a college fund for him or something that will help him in the future. His mom did a wonderful job. I applaud her.

    To those people who feel that this young man is not a small hero, better yet a miracle....what are you really thinking? I want to commend his parents for teaching him his name, and address. Working in the school system, many students dont know what to do in case on an emergency. Not only was this young man brave, but he didnt panic. He told his mother that he would take care of his little brother until they all could be reunited again. Even as I write this post, a tear wells up in me because I can only imagine what kind of ordeal he has gone through. His family has been reunited again and can now try to rebuild their life. Thank you to the reporters of this story for giving us a bright spot in an otherwise dim and dismal time.

    Re: Meet Deamonte Love, Age 6 and the Children He (none / 0) (#36)
    by brad on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:44 PM EST
    Deamonte Love For Governor Decisive, A man of Action, A true leader, And not afraid to get his feet wet. Can you say that about the current L.A. administration?