Hancock Co. Unveils Hurricane Katrina Memorial Plaque

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Across the Gulf Coast Friday, individual communities were honoring those whose lives were lost. Hancock County unveiled a memorial plaque with the names of 57 community members who died in the storm.

Pass Christian resident, Laura Bane, remembers the vengeance of the storm that took both her parents and two younger brothers nine years ago. She called her mother that morning. When she arrived at her parents’ house just hours later, Bane found the unimaginable. Bane says, “The window was busted open and they still had the blinds hanging up on the window, and so I moved the blinds over and all I could see was my dad’s face. I guess from the water, from the way it ran down, the way he landed it looked like he was staring out the back window.”

Inside the home, she found the bodies of her parents and brothers caked in mud. Now, with a family of her own, Bane visits Katrina memorial events every year. Bane also says, “It helps, it helps a lot, and it feels good to know there are so many supporters here and so many people that’s there for you.”

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For those who lost one loved ones during Hurricane Katrina, events like Friday’s are not only an opportunity to grieve, but also to remember their families’ legacy in Hancock County. Bill Brown, Director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (M.E.M.A.), says, “We have to remember, because we only learn from history. We can surmise what may happen in the future, but it’s only history that tells us what we did right and what we did wrong.”

Brown was Chief of Operations for M.E.M.A. when Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. He says emergency agencies are now more prepared than ever, but many people still hold the devastation of Katrina heavy in their hearts. Katrina spent eight hours ravaging the Coast.

Memorial events, like those held Friday, help the survivors honor those they lost and give them the strength to move on.