Faith, Hope and Charity: Unidentified Camille victims honored

Faith, Hope and Charity: Unidentified Camille victims honored
Out of the many who died during the storm, there were three found in Harrison County who were never identified. (Photo source: WLOX)
Out of the many who died during the storm, there were three found in Harrison County who were never identified. (Photo source: WLOX)
(Photo source: WLOX)
(Photo source: WLOX)
(Photo source: WLOX)
(Photo source: WLOX)
(Photo source: WLOX)
(Photo source: WLOX)

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - On Monday, the Coast remembered a storm that happened 46 years ago. Hurricane Camille made landfall on this day in 1969. Out of the many who died during the storm, there were three found in Harrison County who were never identified.

Every year, those three are remembered in Gulfport. There are no names on the graves, only descriptions. White females, approximate age ranges, the clothes and accessories they were wearing when they were found.

They were never identified, and no one ever came looking for them.

"Apparently, they either had no family or they lost their family," said Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacy.

According to Lacy, the decision was made years ago to not let their deaths be in vain.

"We couldn't do that in our community. We had to show some type of respect for them," Lacy said.

So, they were buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Gulfport and given the names Faith, Hope and Charity.

Every year, on the anniversary of that terrible storm, officials and community members join together to pay their respects.

"It's a constant reminder of the loss that we take in these hurricanes," said Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove.

As coroner, Hargrove's job is extremely important after deadly storms like Camille. Even though he wasn't the coroner during that time, he has seen his share of storm aftermath. He identified every soul found after Hurricane Katrina.

This year, some say it's even more sobering to revisit the effect of Camille while quickly approaching Katrina's 10th anniversary. Hargrove said it keeps the importance of safety in the forefront.

"We're better prepared after Katrina in that people pay attention to what we say," said Hargrove.

Lacy agreed and said each storm has left an impact that will affect how we view every hurricane season.

"We just need to be vigilant as we go into the most active part of the season," Lacy said.

Hargrove said there is a chance today's technology could help identify the three victims. He also said that effort will only happen if someone comes looking for a lost loved one who matched the grave descriptions.

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