Katrina memorial service honors those lost and celebrates those who survived

Katrina memorial service honors those lost and celebrates those who survived

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Eleven years ago on Aug.29, Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The Ground Zero Museum's memorial ceremony and open house Sunday night in Waveland was to honor those lost in Hurricane Katrina. But, it also was to celebrate.

"I think the ceremony last year and this year are important to remind people of two things: one, the power of that storm - of any storm," said Waveland resident Al Ferry. "And then secondly, the resilience that the people of Waveland have. It's amazing."

Al Ferry is one of those resilient people. And when storms brew in the Gulf now, he has a profound perspective.

"I used to joke that there'll never be another Camille. And there wasn't - there was something far worse," Ferry said. "So, something worse than Katrina? I believe that God will take me then, and won't have to worry about it afterward."

Tish Williams, Hancock County Chamber director, says the museum also serves as a way to reconnect with all the volunteers who helped with the rebuilding process.

Williams hopes the museum has another long-term benefit.

"It gives our visitors a place where they can connect with local people to find out about how we've rebuilt since Katrina. And our hope is that one day, when they come to visit us, that they'll actually stay and become a secondary or primary homeowner. That's our goal," said Williams.

Ed Catone is a volunteer at the museum from Diamondhead.

"I think a lot of people, especially visitors from out of state, don't really realize what happened here," Catone said. "And this is one way of showing them that. I think a lot of people around the country think we've fully recovered because it's been so long, but we haven't."

Copyright 2016 WLOX. All rights reserved.