Sunday, March 9 2014 8:35 PM EDT2014-03-10 00:35:58 GMT
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HENRYVILLE, Ind. (WDRB)--- The latest February 2nd snowstorm is nothing compared to the March 2nd storm, the tornado, that hit last year. The people of Henryville are preparing to commemorate what they lost and what they gained.
Trish Gilles still needs a cane to walk. It's the only visible evidence of what happened exactly eleven months ago.
"It picked us up and it cleared this telephone pole and threw us up in that field over there," said Trish Gilles, storm survivor.
The March 2nd tornado turned her home into rubble and landed Trish and her entire family in the hospital. Yet, Trish calls the storm a blessing.
"It was a tragedy for what it did. What it brought us, though, is something that I'm very grateful for," Gilles continued.
Grateful for her rebuilt home, but more grateful for her rebuilt family.
"Yeah, our lives changed for the better because we appreciate life. We know life now," said Gilles.
That's one reason Trish agreed to be part of a group planning the observance of the one year anniversary of the storm.
"I want this town to realize that there is a lot we have to celebrate," Gilles explained.
Indeed, more than 11,000 volunteers and millions of dollars have helped the area recover and rebuild.
"We want to celebrate all the progress that's been made and we want to give thanks for all the people that have showed such courage as survivors and all the people that have given so much of their time and their energy and their resources to rebuild this area," said Jennifer Mills-Knutson, of March 2 Recovery, the group leading the rebuilding effort.
The day will include a parade that will begin at the fire station which served as a command post and end at the rebuilt Henryville school, where there will also be a prayer service.
"We really believe that God watched over this community in many, many ways with many, many individuals," said Bill Stone, W. Clark Ministers Association.
A "Hornet Pride" sign at the Henryville School was left standing after the storm blew through. It became a symbol of the town's recovery and will be a major theme of the anniversary observance.
"Pride. It all comes down to pride, I think," explains Adam Kleinert, parade organizer.
"I just want to bring something of hope to each person," said Gilles.
To find the listing and times of anniversary events on the March 2 Recovery Facebook page click here.