Waveland Remembers 57 Lives Lost In Katrina

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - A memorial wreath was cast into the Gulf Friday in Waveland in remembrance of 57 lives lost. All died in Hancock County during our nation's worst natural disaster, Hurricane Katrina.

The names of the deceased were read aloud, and prayers were offered to God.

"Our prayer is for the memory of those who weren't able to be here today, who lost their lives during Katrina, and for the family members of those departed souls," Senator Roger Wicker said.

It was a time to reflect, but also a time to look to the future.

"As far as we've come, I don't have to tell y'all, we have so much further to go. But a lot has happened," Waveland Mayor Tommy Longo said. "In the next five to six months, hopefully, we're going to break ground on every city structure in Waveland - the city hall, the annex, the police complex, the fire complex."

Housing Recovery Director General Douglas O'Dell assured the crowd that seeing Waveland bounce back will remain a priority of the Bush administration.

"The president regularly asks about, 'How is Waveland?' And, 'How is Tommy Longo?' Because the president knows this was ground zero. This is where the massive tidal surge occurred. This is the most devastated community on the Gulf Coast," Gen. O'Dell said.

"This is a day for me, Mayor Longo, to congratulate local leadership, and to thank the volunteers and the first responders for your perseverance and resilience in the face of this storm," Sen. Wicker said.