Hundreds Gather For Hands Across The Coast - - The News for South Mississippi

Hundreds Gather For Hands Across The Coast

Thousands of personal stories came out of these South Mississippi Katrina images which were broadcast all over the world.

Hundreds of people made their way to the Biloxi beachfront in front of the Church of the Redeemer to share these stories, and to support each other as they reflected on "that day."

"This is remembrance for me, and closure. I had to be here. There was no way I was gonna miss it," said participant Carol Welch.

For two minutes, beginning at 3 o'clock Sunday afternoon, the crowd held hands and shared their stories in silence in what was called "Hands Across The Coast."

Words were not needed to communicate grief or pain caused by Katrina.

Each person could feel the other's reason for being there, just by holding his or her hand.

"In many faith traditions the anniversary of a death is the time when you come together and you share stories and it's kind of a mini-wake," said organizer Father Harold Roberts.

But Father Roberts believes that out of that "wake" should come "hope," and for some of the participants, that "hope" includes sending a message to the world.

"Just to make the statement of here we are. We survived it all," said participant David Kip.

And by coming together to hold hands with each other in support, all of the participants hope that silent message will be heard loud and clear.

"I hope that people feel affirmed, strengthened, and most of all, they know they are not alone," said Roberts.  

Father Roberts says other groups gathered to join hands today in Gulfport, Ocean Springs, and Bay St. Louis.

By Karla Redditte

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