[StBernard] St. Bernard holds 6th Hurricane Katrina Commemorative Service
westley at da-parish.com
Tue Aug 30 08:12:47 EDT 2011
St. Bernard holds 6th Hurricane Katrina Commemorative Service
Family members of those who died place a wreath in the waters of Mississippi
River Gulf Outlet
With a bright sun beaming behind the granite Katrina Monument in Shell Beach
and over the waters of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, St. Bernard Parish
Councilmen Ray Lauga and Mike Ginart read the names of the 163 St. Bernard
Parish residents who lost their lives to Hurricane Katrina.
Moments later, family members of several of those whose names are on the
monument assisted in laying a memorial wreath on the water of the MRGO
channel at the 6th annual Commemorative Service Sunday, August 28.
"This is the most important part of the ceremony," St. Bernard Parish
President Craig P. Taffaro, Jr. told the audience at the ceremony at the end
of Shell Beach Highway. "We can build bridges and buildings, but we can't
forget those who lost their lives to Katrina."
As the program reflected on those who perished, it also focused forward on
the future and on the parish's progress. Taffaro thanked the firefighters,
first responders and all the heroes of the storm who fought mightily to help
neighbors in need during Katrina.
Taffaro said that it is also a time to reflect on what has been accomplished
and what growth and recovery has been experienced for those who made the
choice to return to rebuild their lives in St. Bernard.
Joe Threat, FEMA's Acting Executive Director for the Louisiana Recovery
Office, said that as a New Orleans resident who also was flooded by Katrina,
he is in solidarity with St. Bernard.
"Living by the London Canal, I lost all my belongings and I lost neighbors,"
Threat said. "There were 1,500 lost in my zip code. In fact, I barely got
my family out, but I can't imagine what it would be like to lose a family
Threat promised that FEMA would continue to be a faithful partner with St.
Bernard in its recovery efforts. "I think it's important to continue our
partnership and to finish the recovery and rebuilding of St. Bernard
Parish," he said.
Councilman Mike Ginart, agreed and assured the group gathered, "As the years
pass, the crowds may dwindle, but know that no one is forgetting what
Councilman Ray Lauga, Jr. said such events are important.
"I think it is good to remember all the sacrifices made during Katrina and
the sacrifices that the people who came back are still making today," Lauga
Councilman Fred Everhardt, who also attended, said that everything he does
is in memory of those who lost their lives.
"In everything I have fought for and accomplished, I have always kept the
families of those who lost relatives in mind," he said.
Pastor Ben Alderman of Harvest Time Ministries who gave the opening and
closing comments said it is only right to commemorate such an event.
"It's important," Alderman said. "It was a life changing experience. We
should pass the memories on to our children."
When Taffaro first became president in January 2008, he initiated an effort
to correct the names on the monument that was put up when information about
casualties was still sketchy. With some spellings corrected and a few names
added or deleted, the monument was rededicated later in 2008 with a total of
163 names of those who died because of Hurricane Katrina, whether it was
during the actual event or because of the evacuation. Here are the names on
Benny Butler Jr.
Robert J. Caire
Edward "Pete" Dugas
Harrison A. Duhon
Wilbur A. Hebert, Jr.
Todd J. Lopez
Matthew Muhoberac, Jr.
Joel C. Mumphrey
Jake Schiro Jr.
Henry Stafford Sr.
Mary Ann Trentecosta
Anna Marie Urquhart
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