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1900 Storm Memorial

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In memory of the victims lost at sea during the Galveston hurricane of September 8, 1900, fourth-generation Galvestonian artist David Moore created this memorial, "Place of Remembrance", to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the storm. The monument was dedicated in a ceremony held on September 9, 2000; the work represents the suffering of the victims and the strength of the survivors who stayed to rebuild the city.

The 10-foot-tall bronze sculpture portrays a family - a father, mother and child - clinging together. One of the man's arms is reaching for the sky, and the other is around his wife. She is cradling their baby in her arms.

During the ceremony, cards with names of the victims were placed in a vault beneath the sculpture. Also, the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Harry Claiborne was positioned offshore; the ship's crew and their guests scattered rose petals in the water to commemorate those who died in the storm.

The crowd at the ceremony sang along to the French song Queen of the Waves. The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word sang the hymn in 1900 at St. Mary's Orphan Asylum in Galveston to calm the 93 children in their care during the storm.

The storm claimed 90 of the children and 10 nuns. The hymn was dedicated to them and the others lost in the storm.

An identification plaque at the base of the sculpture reads

1900 Storm Memorial
by David W. Moore, Sculptor
Cast by United Metalsmiths Houston
Sponsored by Galveston Commission for the Arts

A plaque with a description of the storm is also nearby, with the following inscription:

The 1900 Storm Commemorative Sculpture, dedicated on September 9, 2000 represents the suffering of those who perished and the tenacity of those who survived this nation's deadliest natural disaster. On September 8, 1900 a powerful hurricane struck Galveston Island, killing more than 6,000 people and leaving the island in ruins. The next day the survivors began the cleanup, and the city began making plans to rebuild the island with a seawall to protect it against future storms. Over the next decade, the wall was completed and the land behind it raised. These measures served Galveston well. In 1915, when another intense hurricane struck the island, less than a dozen people living behind the seawall lost their lives.

The Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, an Order of Women Religious, was founded in Galveston in 1866. Here they established the first Catholic hospital in the state in 1867 and later founded St. Mary's Orphan Asylum. The 1900 Storm destroyed the orphanage, killing 90 children and 10 sisters. (The historic plaque describing the Sisters' struggle to save the children is located near the site of the orphanage on Seawall Boulevard at 69th Street.) True to the gallant spirit of Galveston Islanders, the Congregation built another orphanage, which opened one year after the storm.

The Women's Health Protective Association grew out of an effort by Galveston clubwomen to restore and beautify the city after the 1900 Storm. They also took on the grim task of burying bodies of both identified and unidentified storm victims. Over an eight-year period the WHPA moved the remains of more than 500 unidentified victims to the Municipal Cemetery for proper burial and placed a pink granite marker at the site bearing the inscription: "To the unknown who perished in the Storm of Sept. 8, 1900." (This marker still exists in the Municipal Cemetery on Avenue T 1/2 between 57th and 61st Streets.) On September 8, 1901 the WHPA held a memorial service attended by 7,000 mourners.