Two years after Katrina washed out graves at Biloxi City Cemetery, the dead have once again been put to final rest. Several remains were reburied on Friday after a small ceremony.
No one knows who they are or when they died. No one even knows exactly how many people are in the coffin. Dick Henderson, a deacon at St. James Catholic Church in Gulfport, says what is certain is that the dead within Biloxi City Cemetery deserve a final resting place.
"Everyone who has gone before us is still in many ways spiritually with us," said Henderson.
Harrison County's coroner and others have spent two years trying to return those Katrina displaced into their rightful graves. Finally, they made the difficult decision to create a common grave.
Gary Hargrove said, "For those that were scattered away from the tombs and the graves and stuff, to give them the respect that they're due."
At three other grave sites, including two family tombs, prayers went out over the remains which were identified and returned to rest.
"Some of us think when we die, we die. We're gone. That's it," said Henderson. "We really do exist. Not only our souls, but certainly the mortal body that we have is still here and it's still with us. It deserves respect when we are alive. It certainly deserves respect when we have died."
Coroner Gary Hargrove said it was important for the remains to, "get put back to the rightful place where they belong, so they can be laid to rest and families can have comfort in the end."
Hargrove says Katrina damaged eight cemeteries in Harrison County, two of which are still in disrepair. One is in Pass Christian, the other is Southern Memorial in Biloxi.