In Miss., ‘Hands Across the Coast’ Promotes Katrina Healing

August 29, 2006

Hundreds of people gathered in Biloxi, Miss. on Sunday to remember Hurricane Katrina’s destruction and promote healing to the community.

The event, “Hands Across the Coast,” was developed by Harold Roberts, rector of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer.

“We got a good response,” Roberts said. “It’s to commemorate (Katrina) and it’s people getting together for a simple act. This is very personal.”

People initially gathered in front of the Hurricane Camille memorial and later crossed U.S. 90. Participants linked hands and held them up in the air for two minutes. A round of applause followed.

Leona Benfield, a native of Biloxi, said she attended the event to help herself remember what’s important in life. The home she grew up in got 4 feet of water in Hurricane Camille in 1969 and was destroyed by Katrina on Aug. 29, 2005.

“I didn’t lose anything, but I wanted to be here. It helps me. A lot of these people have lost their homes, and this helps them emotionally to be able to hold someone else’s hand and they give thanks that they’re here,” Benfield said. “Material things are minor compared to your life and your family.”

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