Online Story Contribution, Hurricane Digital Memory Bank

I came to Bay St Louis with the National Park Service\'s Hurricane Recovery Team in November, 2005. My job was to help supervise the removal of \"debris\". What I didn\'t realize until I got there was that \"debris\" referred to homes, churches, businesses... lives. The contractors that I worked with were mostly local people, people who grew up 2 blocks from the \"debris\" we were loading into trucks. The trucks were hauling everything to the pits, where anything burnable is burned. The rest is piled. There\'s nothing in this world like standing next to someone who is watching their entire neighborhood get hauled away. These brave people had to load beds, baby clothes, athletic trophies, crafting supplies, wedding china, lawn furniture, children\'s toys and even ruined photo albums into the trucks. Many times I saw even the most stoic equipment operator have to take a moment to control his or her emotion. We all cried. There is nothing more humbling than to talk with these people who are being so strong, so hopeful, so dutiful in their mission of rebuilding their lives. As I said, I was there in November and December- 3 and 4 months after the storm. So much strength in these people, for so long.



“Online Story Contribution, Hurricane Digital Memory Bank,” Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, accessed May 27, 2024,