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Charles County Proclaims Saturday Celebrate La Plata Day'
La Plata, MD - 4/24/2012
By Andy Marquis
Saturday will bring the 10th anniversary of the devastating F-4 tornado that hit La Plata, Maryland. The tornado, which killed three people, injured over 100 people and caused over $115 million in damage. Now, the town is preparing to celebrate the rebuilding efforts in a day of unity.
The Charles County Board of Commissioners issues a proclamation to La Plata Mayor Roy Hale on Tuesday morning declaring Saturday, April 28, 2012, “Celebrate La Plata Day”. In La Plata, residents of the town will gather for remembrance ceremonies, entertainment and more.
In honor of the rebuilding efforts, the Town of La Plata installed plaques and signs documenting the devastation in places that have since been rebuilt. Residents can talk a walk through La Plata and what has been dubbed “Memory Lane” to see the signs of the devastation then and what is there now.
Commissioner Ken Robinson (D: 1st), who represents La Plata, presented the proclamation to Hale and spoke about the disaster, saying “I can’t believe it’s been ten years already.”
Hale spoke about the disaster, how the community came together and about what will take place Saturday. The proclamation encourages residents to participate in “Celebrate La Plata Day” in La Plata on Saturday, where there will be events for people of all ages before the somber ceremonies that will mark the 10th anniversary of the tornado.
“Immediately following the tornado, there was an outpouring of help and support from the community, the county, the state, and municipalities across Maryland,” the proclamation states. “The recovery and rebuilding that followed this tragic event have wiped out most evidence of the devastation and left us with a beautiful Town and a closer and stronger community. The county is proudly partnering with the Town of LaPlata, various organizations, businesses, and residents to ‘Celebrate La Plata’ this Saturday, April 28th with a wide variety of activities and remembrances. In remembrance of the lives, homes, and businesses lost, and in celebration of a closer & stronger community ten years later, the County Commissioners of Charles County, Maryland hereby proclaim the 28th day of April, 2012 as ‘Celebrate La Plata Day’ and encourage the citizens of the county to participate in the activities and events in remembrance.”
"That was the day for La Plata," Town of La Plata Mayor Roy Hale said in an interview with The BayNet back in March. "It was the second tornado in 100 years that went through our town and devastated about 65 percent of the downtown area. On the 28th of April 2012, we're going to celebrate the rebirth of the town and everything that has happened in those short ten years and to show our support to the people and all the organizations, government and private, that actually contributed a tremendous amount to the rebirth of La Plata. We want to recognize what has happened and celebrate all the new growth in town and everything that has occurred in those ten years.
"To do that, we're going to have a major celebration in Downtown La Plata on April 28th with multiple events. We'll have walking tours of downtown with signs on those establishments that show the destruction that occurred on those sites and people can look at the building that's now replaced that. We're going to have music, multiple events for children, food, just a tremendous day all day long to celebrate what has occurred in La Plata. We're hoping for excellent weather, we ordered a good day and we're hoping everyone can come out and share the day with their neighbors and friends and everyone else who lives in this town. Many of our neighbors have contributed a tremendous amount to what has occurred."
"Ten years ago, it was about devastation," Robinson said on Tuesday. "Today, it is about commemorating the spirit of a community coming together. The events of ten years ago have played a significant role in bringing the La Plata and Charles County community closer."
More information about Memory Lane can be seen here: http://www.thebaynet.com/announcements/index.cfm/fa/viewannouncement/announce_ID/8002
More information about Celebrate La Plata Day can be seen here: http://www.thebaynet.com/announcements/index.cfm/fa/viewannouncement/announce_ID/8071
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