New Orleans Rushes To Finish Memorial Before Anniversary

NEW ORLEANS — The progress in just five weeks is nothing short of amazing.

Six mausoleums for the unclaimed dead from Hurricane Katrina stand on what was vacant land, as New Orleans works feverishly to complete a memorial by Friday’s third anniversary of the storm.

Fifty-four of the 85 bodies are identified. Some have gone unclaimed because family members have been lost in the massive relocation, or they’ve decided to leave burial to the coroner because they were either too poor or too estranged to do it themselves.

And in true Big Easy fashion, at least seven of the dead will be marched to the site during a traditional New Orleans jazz funeral.

Trumpeter Irvin Mayfield Junior, whose father drowned in the storm, says the city’s decision to honor the forgotten victims of Katrina shows its spirit.