The intense wind, which made for even more intense flying sand, could not stop more than one hundred South Mississippians and volunteers from gathering on the beach in Long Beach.
They met to participate in Project Live Oak, where they stretched out in the sand to create an image of the historic Friendship Oak located on the USM Gulf Coast campus.
"When I first came down here a couple months ago and saw what was going on and saw the houses gone and the trees still standing, I was really moved by that and I thought 'how did these trees weather that storm' ?" said Spectral Q aerial artist John Quigley.
The trees were a symbol of strength, and it was the symbol Quigley and members of the organization Arts For Relief wanted to send out to the world - that South Mississippi is resilient, but more help is needed in its recovery.
"We are still in need of a lot of help and we do have hope that it will come, but it hasn't come soon enough," said New Jersey volunteer C.C.White.
"These are the brave souls, the true brave souls of the Mississippi Coast coming out today to really show the power of a people and the spirit of the people of Mississippi," said Quigley.
"It seemed like it would be a good idea to show some community pride and maybe get other people to come and help us a little bit and raise awareness for Katrina again," said Long Beach resident Eric Merkle.
A camera in a helicopter captured the message this group wanted to send. And many hope this message will be heard loud and clear.
"Where there are trees, there is hope," said Long Beach resident JoAnna Hudson.
The images captured Saturday will be circulated through email networks all over the world.
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