NELSON COUNTY, Va (WDBJ) - Neighbors in Nelson County came together at Nelson County High School Sunday afternoon to remember those lost 50 years ago in the floods of 1969.
"He was most incredible, to me he was, he was one that was actually afraid of water, he didn't like high water," Joanne Clarkson, a survivor of the flood, said about her.
And yet after escaping the waters unharmed, Clarkson's brother Edward Bouregard went back in to save three lives--losing his own in the process.
"It's really inspiring to think about his life, what he did in the end, risked that to save other people," Clarkson said.
Bouregard is why Clarkson went to Sunday's commemoration of 50 years since Hurricane Camille--to remember him along with others lost in the floods of 1969.
Don Harvey helped plan this memorial service with members of the Nelson County Historical Society.
"We have people, I have friends, who lost loved ones, they know they're alive here but their loved ones are not, and we remember," Don Harvey, a member of the planning committee for the Nelson County Historical Society," said.
The service included songs and stories.
"Storytelling is cathartic, it's a way that we have of being able to release any whatever we may have trapped inside, especially after going through a traumatic experience like the flood, it gives people a chance to revisit that . . . to promote healing," Harvey said.
Harvey also read aloud names of those who died and showed their pictures. He said, "To be able to see the face, young people, children and infants, brings it alive, I think, makes it personal."
Faces like Bouregard's.
"His life was one in which I like to think about this, that is in [John] the verse, 'Greater love hath no man than this, that he laid down his life for his friends,'" Clarkson said.
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