Waveland remembers Katrina victims at ground zero

Waveland, Miss. — There are 26 names on the Hurricane Katrina memorial outside the Ground Zero Hurricane Museum in Waveland, Miss. They are of Waveland residents who lost their lives in 2005 when the storm’s eye passed over the city.

Traditionally, on the anniversary of Katrina, the museum’s memorial prayer service would include a reading of each name. But this year, in a sign of healing, the service collectively remembered those who lost their lives.

Also, rain related to Tropical Storm Harvey made it more difficult for the service to proceed as planned.

Despite the steady rain, city officials, museum organizers, first responders, and members of the community gathered inside the auditorium of the museum for the morning service. The building was once a school and was the only structure on the city’s main street still standing when Katrina’s storm surge receded.

LiLi Stahler Murphy, the founder of the museum, said the people dealing with Harvey’s floods were also on the minds of organizers as they were planning the service. She said one good result from Waveland’s experience with Katrina is what we’ve learned to help us with destructive storms like Harvey.

At the end of the service, some of the officials and attendees walked outside in the rain and laid a wreath at the base of the Hurricane Katrina memorial. Because of the rain, they were only outside long enough to take a photo together. Then, they went back inside, some telling their Katrina stories, others talking about the storm they were dealing with today.