NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Six wreaths were positioned in front of the tombs at the Hurricane Katrina Memorial in the Old Charity Hospital Cemetery on the 9th Anniversary of the storm that devastated the New Orleans metro area.
Dr. Michael White set the somber tone with his clarinet, tears running down his cheeks as he relived memories of the storm.
'It is still a great tragedy to many of us, and even though we are rebuilding our lives, and moving on, it's good for us to take the time out to recall this event,' said White.
The Memorial is the final resting place for 85 hurricane victims who were never identified.
Coroner Jeffrey Rouse helped plan the memorial, and he relived the memories Friday.
'Nine years after Katrina there are certain images that are in my mind that I cannot erase,' said Rouse. 'One of those is of course, the room full of coffins, the persons who actually ended up being buried here.'
Friday Dr. Rouse said the lesson of their sacrifice should never be forgotten as we rebuild.
'They sit in silent judgment,' said Rouse. 'They judge us and the city's progress, not by how far we have already come. They judge us by how far we still have to go.'
'It has been amazing to see the progress that has been made over the last nine years because of the efforts of the leadership here, as well as the citizenry of New Orleans,' said Julian Castro, the brand new Federal Housing and Urban Development Secretary, who wanted to send a message to the city.
'We want to continue to be a strong partner in helping to rebuild New Orleans,' said Castro.
Mayor Landrieu said he truly believes our best days are yet to come, that our job now is not just to rebuild a better city, but to become the best city we can be.
'And what we need to be about now is making sure that the soul of this city is as deep and as rich as it has always been, by honoring our history, but one that also helps us build our future,' Mayor Landrieu concluded.