Music and prayers offered comfort to Katrina survivors and volunteers at the Gulfside Assembly Katrina service in Waveland. People of all faiths gathered to remember those who died during Katrina, and those who are still struggling to recover two years after the storm. The STEPS coalition organized the interfaith service, which focused on justice, compassion and hope.
About an hour after that service ended, folks headed to the Veterans Memorial at the end of Coleman Avenue for another event. Residents listened in as Waveland Mayor Tommy Longo gave a progress report on the city.
There were also many volunteers at the service. Two years after the storm, those volunteers have one message for the rest of the country.
"Don't forget about us," said Brent Woodfill. He moved to Waveland after Katrina hit to help his family. He's been volunteering ever since. With an endearing smile, he says, "Don't forget about us. There's still a lot of need here, and there's still a lot of hope here. Don't let it pass."
Charley Elgin is another volunteer in Waveland. In fact, he picked up and moved to Waveland from Montgomery, Alabama, just months after Katrina, in order to devote his life to helping residents recover. He says, there are plenty of people willing to help ongoing efforts. The challenge is getting their attention.
"Getting people down here to see what's going on to see that it's not over and continuing to encourage volunteers all across the country to come down here, that's a huge challenge," said Elgin.
Besides honoring our volunteers, Waveland leaders also recognized those who died during Katrina by reading their names aloud.