Hurricane Camille victims remembered despite COVID-19 limitations

Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 2:34 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Fifty-two years later, the memories of Hurricane Camille are still strong for many here on the Coast.

At Evergreen Cemetery in Gulfport, the bodies of the three unknown victims of Camille are remembered by members of the Harrison County Emergency Management Agency. They’re simply known as Faith, Hope and Charity. They were found three days after Camille, a Category 5 storm with 175 mph winds, roared ashore on Aug. 17, 1969.

“It’s a much smaller event this year due to COVID. Folks are coming to pay their respects individually throughout the day,” said Matt Stratton, Harrison County EMA director.

Just after the brief ceremony, Scott and Celia Barrett came out to pay their respects.

“I remember it well,” Scott Barrett said.

In a sense, it’s like a reverse crime mystery where we know who the culprit is, but we don’t know the victims. Read the burial markers and you’ll find Faith, a “white female aged 60-65 wearing a paisley pullover dress.” Hope was “a white female aged 30-35 wearing a white blouse green slacks and rubber boots,” and Charity was “a white female aged 40-50 wearing four rings and earrings.”

The simple but moving ceremony represents what was lost in Camille and what was learned in its aftermath.

“The Coast is a beautiful place with beautiful people, and unfortunately, living in a beautiful place like this there are storms occasionally,” Stratton added.

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