We went after all the ceremonies and fanfare were over. A few people, like us, came to read the names on the wall, to sit for a moment and reflect on the monumental event that caused so much damage and taken so many lives.
A young girl asked her mother if she could stay just a little longer at the memorial before the family went home.
“Sure,” her mother said. “Take your time. This is part of your heritage.”
It was an awakening moment. And summed up the reason we gather to remember. It is part of our heritage.
I still can’t talk about Katrina or even think about it without tears, major tears. I’m sure I am not the only one.
The memorial on the Town Green was constructed as part of the TV show, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” It features a tile mural of a wave that represents Katrina, wrapped around a flag pole and US flag. Beside it is a sculpture made from personal items donated by Katrina victims.
On the other side is a granite wall, which is as tall as the storm surge that flooded the Mississippi Gulf Coast that day. The 12-foot wall bears the names of Mississippi‘s 170 victims who perished in the storm as well as those who are still missing.
Someone earlier had left a dozen white roses at the base of the wall. I don’t know if it was for someone whose name was on the wall, or a survivor or just a simple tribute from someone who just compelled to honor the memories of persons unknown. Who knows.