- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 6, 2006

ST. BERNARD PARISH, La. - Some are remembered by beautiful tombs and plaques with angels and flowers and phrases. Others? Sometimes nothing more than a few simple words - or just the starkly powerful “R.I.P.” painted on a door or a wall of an abandoned home. When life comes to an end, and the journey is done, what does it all come down to? Your casket is sitting among others lined up under a tree, with a number painted on it, out in the open without a name. Anonymous.

Here at the Merrick Cemetery in St. Bernard Parish, which sits in southeast Louisiana, the dead remain in a state of unrest, their final resting place torn apart and turned upside down by Hurricane Katrina.

Upside down and broken, pieces of a memory and a resting place disturbed, silence shattered. Their old bones scattered and drowning in the murky waters. Water lines can be seen on tombstones. The earth is quiet again, and all around are crumbled white tombs and old plastic flowers faded by the hot sun.

Today the sky is partly cloudy and the birds are back here, singing above the empty graves as time passes by, like the years on the grave markers, giving you a sense of time lost and found. Their caskets may be ruined, but the memory of those laid to rest live on in the hearts of their loved ones. Their grace is here with us now, even still.


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