Picnic in the Pass a healing celebration

Picnic in the Pass a healing celebration

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - The celebration in Pass Christian was spread all over War Memorial Park. Individual families pulled up a blanket and enjoyed the day.

Vendors filled the spaces and music filled the air all through the day.

But the day was even more special for Tricia Taylor and husband, Chris Taylor.

She opened her home in DeLisle to family, friends and soon-to-be friends - some for up to a year after the storm.

"All the people stayed at my house 10 years ago, and I didn't want to have the party at my house this year," Taylor joked. "So Chipper (McDermott) put on the party and that was better."

The tent was filled with memorabilia. Photographs from those hard days after the storm. A headband flashlight that guided them. A can of soup, the likes of which served as sustenance.

Brother-in-law David Taylor was one of the evacuees.

"We felt like we needed to get together, some of us for the first time in 10 years," he said. "We needed to get together to celebrate this anniversary."

Dan Addabbo of Atlanta has become extended family. The connection: JD, his mother's dog.

His mother, Norman Trimmer, tried to ride out the storm. JD made it. She didn't.

The person who found the dog? David Taylor.

"It's a tough day, but you know what, we miss her, we still have her dog that reminds us a lot about her."

It was also a special day for Matt Doherty, mayor of Belmar, N.J., who has been dealing with the aftereffects of Hurricane Sandy.

He says he received invaluable help and guidance from Mayor Chipper McDermott on how to survive a storm.

"We're about three years after Sandy, so it's nice to come to Pass Christian 10 years later to see what the long-term recovery looks like."

The celebration then turned somber at dusk as the city remembered the 29 residents who died during Hurricane Katrina.

Floating lanterns were released and sculptures were lit as a tribute to them.

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