SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Forty-four years ago a category five hurricane slammed into the Gulf Coast causing death and destruction. On Saturday a memorial service was held to remember those who lost their lives in Hurricane Camille.
August 17, 1969 was the day one of the most powerful and deadliest hurricanes in history hit the Gulf Coast leaving 131 people dead and 41 unaccounted for. Several gathered at the Camille Memorial located in Biloxi at the former site of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer.
"I am resurrection and I am life, says the Lord. Whoever had faith in me shall have life even though he die," said Church of the Redeemer's Very Reverend Robert Wetherington Church.
Following prayer, church members and even former Biloxi mayor Danny Guice read the names engraved in the memorial's granite wall. It's a way they are paying their respect to the victims.
"Granvel H. Alexander. Randall Jack Alexander," former Biloxi mayor Danny Guice said.
"After we read the names of these that are on one of the panels of the memorial; we place a rose in their memory and honor and out of respect," Church of the Redeemer member Judy Guice said.
The day was especially significant for Guice. Her parents, Wade and Julia Guice were civil defense directors in South Mississippi when Camille hit. Just a couple weeks ago, her mother passed away.
Julia Guice began the Camille ceremony and pushed for the memorial to be built.
Wetherington said the ceremony keeps our eyes open to the dangers associated with powerful storms.
"It's also reminds to us of the potential for devastation. It is a wonderful reminder to the community. One that is celebrated in love that we need to be mindful of these events," Wetherington said.
"It reminds us how important life is, pretty much. And how important communities are," Rebecca Fish said.
As the gatherers left the memorial service they said they won't soon forget the lessons they learned from the names engraved on the wall.