TGIF: The land of the free and the home of the brave

Biloxi Lighthouse

The Biloxi Lighthouse is the only US in the middle of a highway.

Lighthouses watch over the shores and ocean of our Nation. They are guardians of hope and allow Mariners the freedom to navigate our waters safely. Working side by side along with the Coast Guard, Light Keepers have served in times of war and peace.

Wace-in plaque

A plaque commemorating the Civil Rights wade-ins at Biloxi Beach.

The Biloxi Lighthouse has withstood time and history. It has seen its share of turmoil. It survived the Civil War, Hurricane Katrina and more than 20 hurricanes. The shores of the lighthouse has been the focal point of social protest.

Confederate flag

A protest held at Biloxi Beach against the removal of the Confederate flag.

From the Civil Rights wade-ins demanding equal access to public beaches and those demonstrating against the removal of the confederate flag in North Carolina, the Biloxi Lighthouse has witnessed it all.


The Bloody Truth

Biloxi lighthouse

Biloxi Lighthouse copyright by Elaine Marie Austin.

Dodging cars like a nervous pedestrian, the historic Biloxi Lighthouse stands beside a busy highway.

Lighthouses adorn postcards and remind us of peaceful days gone by. We always like to fool ourselves that the past was better than the present. Some people even try to make social movements out of the past.

If we are honest with ourselves we would remember that the past was fraught with struggles. The Biloxi Lighthouse in Mississippi has withstood the Civil War, Civil Rights protests and hurricane Katrina. I was reminded of this landmark when thinking about the attacks in Paris.

Struggles either bring out the best in us or the worst in us. This lighthouse in spite of the perils it faced survives on a busy roadway. Life changes and we must adapt to the harsh realities facing us and not look back for perceived safer days.

Remembering Katrina

Biloxi lighthouse

Biloxi Lighthouse copyright by Elaine Marie Austin.

I heard on the radio that people tend to get sentimental during the summer. My summer trip to Biloxi Mississippi was full of remembrances of Hurricane Katrina. With this being the 15th year since Katrina, there was an exhibit recalling the hurricane. I also saw wooden sculptures carved from oak trees that died during the hurricane.

The Biloxi Lighthouse has become an emblem for the city. The lighthouse has survived over 20 hurricanes, the Civil War and Civil Rights protests since it was built in 1848. It thrives on a busy 4 lane highway oblivious to the hustle and bustle around it.