Blessing of the Fleet has dual meaning this year - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

WLOX-TV Editorial:

Blessing of the Fleet has dual meaning this year

The Blessing of the Fleet in Biloxi this Sunday will have more meaning than ever. Local shrimpers face an uncertain future with millions of gallons of oil in the Gulf threatening to shorten the season which starts today.

Over the years hurricanes have decimated our local shrimping fleet. Camille and Katrina both delivered heavy blows to the industry. But our shrimpers somehow managed to recover and bring in delicious Mississippi Sound Shrimp.

There was talk this year about whether there should be a Blessing of the Fleet in Biloxi. But Father Gregory Barras, pastor of St. Michael's Catholic Church in Biloxi, sums its up best, "We remember the tradition, the legacy of the women and men who survived the untold difficulties that the Gulf naturally presents. We will continue, based on their strength, patience and perseverance to learn how to live and thrive and protect God's creation from which we benefit daily."

This weekend's 81st Blessing of the Fleet is one of the oldest of its kind in the nation. Biloxi was built on the backbone of shrimpers, oysterman and seafood factories.

Hopefully you can take a few moments this weekend and attend the Fais Do-Do on the town green Saturday or go down to the front beach Sunday afternoon and watch the colorful parade of shrimp boats.

The blessings they receive this year will be even more special, not only to provide them with a safe and plentiful bounty of shrimp, but also to protect our precious Sound from any spewing oil.

That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to editorials@wlox.com, or post your comments below.

David Vincent
WLOX-TV General Manager

©2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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