One year after the Rockaway Peninsula endured its worst natural disaster, survivors gathered to remember and reflect on the recovery over the past year.
The weather — clear skies with a slight chill — was starkly different than 52 weeks ago on Tuesday as events were held across the peninsula.
In Arverne, dozens of people gathered at the Arverne Pilgrim Church on Beach Channel Drive to share their experiences and memories.
At PS 104 in Far Rockaway, students — nearly all of whom were affected by Sandy — took part in a Day of Unity and paid tribute to schools across the country that sent good wishes to Rockaway after Sandy.
Students at the school also wrote letters to children in Colorado who have been displaced by floods there.
A candlelight vigil was held in Breezy Point, the neighborhood at the tip of the peninsula that was hit the hardest, with both a flood and the largest fire in city history at the same time. More than 100 homes were lost in the community. Most have not yet been rebuilt.
As night fell on the peninsula, some residents gathered on the reconstructed beach and lit bonfires and spoke about the recovery and shared memories of last Oct. 29.
“It was our worst day,” said Rockaway resident Rebecca Ronan. “If we survived Sandy, we’re pretty invincible now.”