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Alexandra Saizan

Events around the city Monday commemorated Hurricane Katrina asresidents remembered and acknowledged the losses caused by thehurricane in 2005.

Though the memorials conveyed different messages about thestorm, the day delivered a unifying theme of remembrance.

One of these events, held at the newly renovated Saratoga lofts,gave citizens a new space to gather to mourn those who passed inthe storm.

Marcel Wisznia, the head of Wisznia Architects, developed thegranite face in front of the lofts with the names of the deceasedetched into stone. Artist Nick Hasslock created the piece.

“We want to give people a permanent place to be able to go andremember their loved ones who perished in this hurricane,” Wiszniasaid. “We really believe that it’ll become a gathering place forpeople to remember and become what we call ‘sacred ground.'”

Other events around the city commemorated specific losses. TheAfrican American Leadership Project, led by Chairperson GailGlapion, organized a memorial in honor of the two men who died in apolice shooting on the Danziger Bridge days after Katrina.

The AALP also introduced a proposal to rename the bridge in thevictims’ honor during the ceremony.

“It’s always good when the community reaches its hand out tofamilies,” Glapion said. “It doesn’t bring the people back, butthere is still some comfort and hopefulness knowing that thecommunity surrounds you with love and support.”

Other organizations have planned commemorative events for thenear future.

The Jewish Shrine Center of Destrehan plans to commemorate bothHurricane Katrina and the 10th anniversary of September 11th withan event on Labor Day.

John Williamson, Recorder on the Elected Board of Directors ofthe Jewish Shrine, expects an attendance of up to 500 people.Firefighters from both New York and New Orleans and members of thearmed forces will be honored at the event.

“Hopefully, [attendees will take away] a feeling of patriotism,of remembrance that we don’t forget those who perished at 9/11 andalso Katrina,” Williamson said. “Also remember the heroes who weresaving people at Ground Zero and during Katrina.”

All the memorials that plan to observe Katrina’s anniversary aimto encourage citizens to remember those who were lost and those whobecame heroes in the wake of tragedy.