Unidentified lives lost in Camille are honored on hurricane's anniversary

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Saturday was the 44th anniversary of Hurricane Camille. August 17, 1969 is a day many will never forget. 256 people died in the hurricane. Three of those were never identified.

Now, the names "Faith," "Hope" and "Charity" mark their tombstones. A small group of people came to Evergreen Cemetery in Gulfport Saturday morning to honor their lives.

"I remember where we were that day and these ladies don't have that remembrance," said Bill Knesel, who was only 18-years-old when Hurricane Camille slammed into the Gulf Coast.

Knesel remembers it like it was yesterday.

"The winds, just 200 miles per hour. Just indescribable what that sounds like," said Knesel "Just continuous for minutes on end."

Having survived the storm, he recognizes the importance of holding a ceremony to remember these women.

"I see that we just haven't forgotten the unknown soldier type of people," said Knesel.

"We know how the community comes together after a disaster and when people are in need, it just feels right to remember them," said Knesel.

Rupert Lacy was going into the 6th grade. Now, he's the Harrison County Emergency Management Director. Standing beside their graves, unanswered questions filled his mind.

"I'd really like to know why they didn't leave, did they not get the word?" asked Lacy. "I just, I want to ask them why, why they didn't leave?"

But, those questions will remain unanswered.

All that's left to do now is honor the lives of, what it reads over their tombstones, "3 unknown, but remembered."

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