WAVELAND, Miss. – Hoping for a smoother 2006, the devastated Gulf Coast towns of Bay St. Louis and Waveland quietly welcomed in the New Year.
As a dense, cooling fog crept in from the Gulf, most residents appeared to stay in their houses and trailers or celebrated outside the area, with only an occasional muffled boom from fireworks to be heard.
On the beach across from Buccaneer State Park, dozens of volunteer relief workers – many of whom were from faith-based groups – stood around a glowing bonfire as the clock ticked toward midnight.
Tired after long days working in the rubble where homes and businesses stood before they were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, the gathering broke up not long after midnight, following subdued renditions of religious songs, including “Onward, Christian Soldiers.”
As they headed back to their tents for the night, Kim Newsome, a volunteer from Nome, Alaska, was in the mood to blow some stuff up.
He placed a box of so-called “mortar” fireworks on top of the large beach fire and joined more than a dozen other people gathered on the far side of the road to watch the explosions.
After several colorful blasts, the audience was satisfied and said goodnight -- and goodbye to 2005.
“It’ll burn down by morning. There’ll be nothing left,” Newsom said of the dwindling bonfire as he trudged away through the soft, wet sand.
Trackbacks are links to weblogs that reference this post. Like comments, trackbacks do no appear until approved by us. The trackback URL for this post is: http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b0aa69e200d8346e647653ef