NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 26 -- The City of New Orleans and the New Orleans City Council will host three city-wide events on Friday, August 29th in observance of the third year since the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the failed levees devastated the city and caused the city's first ever mandatory evacuation.
"August 29th will forever be remembered in this region as the day that changed millions of lives. We are working as one community to restore our beloved city and all the richness of its culture. But in the midst of this historic undertaking to move toward a better future, we cannot and must not forget those who lost their lives in the storms and floods. It is in this spirit of reflection that we continue to move with great determination to secure the resources and funding needed to fully rebuild our city," said Mayor C. Ray Nagin.
"On this third anniversary of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, we come together as one community to remember those who lost their lives and reflect upon the progress we have made," said New Orleans City Council President Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson. "Three years after the devastation of these storms, our citizens continue to move forward rebuilding their neighborhoods and communities. Although we have made great strides in our recovery efforts, there is still much to do. We will continue to do whatever it takes to fully rebuild this great City that we call home."
Beginning at 8:00 a.m., the New Orleans Forensic Center Coroner's Office will sponsor a New Orleans traditional jazz funeral and symbolic burial memorializing the unidentified victims of the storms and flood. The site of the memorial ceremony and final resting place for the unidentified victims will be the newly constructed Hurricane Katrina Memorial housed at the Charity Hospital Cemetery, 5056 Canal Street. A groundbreaking ceremony for the Katrina Memorial was held on August 29, 2007.
The jazz funeral will travel a total of eight (8) blocks down Canal Street to the Hurricane Katrina Memorial. City dignitaries, citizens and visitors, lead by The Young Men Olympia Benevolent Society, Treme Brass Band and Storyville Stumpers Brass Band, will proceed to the Katrina Memorial for the burial.
The Katrina Memorial is a burial ground honoring the victims of Hurricane Katrina and the flooding. The memorial design incorporates the actual shape of Hurricane Katrina taken from a satellite image. The approximate construction cost of the monument is $1.5 million.
Following the jazz funeral and memorial, Mayor Nagin and Mrs. Seletha Nagin will be joined by community members and elected officials as they ring ceremonial bells signifying the series of levee breaches that occurred throughout the city. Bells will ring for two minutes (9:38 a.m. - 9:40 a.m.). Simultaneously, members of the New Orleans City Council will lay wreaths on levees throughout the city in their respective districts.
NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 26 -- Concluding the day at 7:30 p.m., the City will again host a candle light vigil in Jackson Square, the location where President Bush in 2005 declared to "do whatever it takes" to rebuild New Orleans and the devastated region. The vigil will feature the city's first responders -- the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD), New Orleans Emergency Medical Services (NOEMS) and the New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD).
SCHEDULE OF COMMEMORATIVE EVENTS
Event: Traditional Jazz Funeral
Time: 8:00 a.m.
Location: Procession to begin at corner of Canal Street and Carrollton
Event: Ceremonial Bell Ringing
Time: 9:38 a.m.
Location: Katrina Memorial Cemetery/Charity Cemetery, 5056 Canal Street
Event: Candle Lighting Ceremony Time: 7:30 p.m. Location: Jackson Square
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING MEDIA CREDENTIALING PROCESS AND MEDIA CENTER
OPERATION DURING THIRD COMMEMORATION OF HURRICANES KATRINA AND RITA
The City of New Orleans is hosting a virtual media credentialing site for events planned for the commemoration of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
To register for media credentials, go to www.progressinlouisiana.org and complete the virtual application. Media can also visit www.cityofno.com for information regarding the events.
Media credentials may be picked up at the Anniversary Media Center beginning at 8:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 28th at Gallier Hall located at 545 St. Charles Avenue.
MEDIA CENTER BRIEFINGS
The City will conduct briefings regarding the recovery and rebuilding in the region on Thursday, August 28th. A media briefing schedule will be posted in the Media Center and on the City's website.
For more information visit www.cityofno.com.
CONTACT: LESLEY EUGENE, (504) 416-7694;
JAMES ROSS, (504) 906-9123
CHARELL CHARLESTON, (212) 219-7106
SOURCE City of New Orleans