A new exhibit at the Gulfport Museum of History has unveiled a collection titled “Katrina Images Revisited.”
“This lady, Carmen, was just off Howard Avenue when I walked up and there was debris everywhere and she was sweeping and cleaning and she had this amazing positive attitude and she said ‘I’m a karate mom and I’ll survive . James Bates worked for the Sun Herald as a photographer during Hurricane Katrina. The photo he calls ‘Karate Mamma’ is one of his favorites in the exhibition.
For him, it captures the fighting spirit of people determined to rebuild what Katrina destroyed. “I think we came back in a great way. It is a testimony for our people, those who stayed, those who returned, those who settled here after the storm and joined the fight. We have a great community and we have come out of a truly incredible disaster.
The theme of resilience is evident through the photographs in the exhibition. There is also heroism. The collection features first responders in action, saving lives. Most of the photos are from Harrison County Fire Chief Pat Sullivan. He documented the damage while working with Gulfport Fire. “What we still call ourselves are victim rescuers. We were victims, but we were saving at the same time. We were all in the same boat. It’s really moving. You walk in and look at it and you remember what was going on at that time and you remember how you felt and how the people around you felt.
Members of the historical society hope the exhibit will remind us of how far we’ve come and what we’ve been through together.
If you would like to see the exhibit, it will be on display at the Gulfport Museum of History. They are open Thursday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.