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    Posted May 1, 2013 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Photo essays: Your stories in pictures

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    Celebratory Opening of Sandy Hook, New Jersey


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     crumpf77 and his wife are graphic designers in Little Falls, New Jersey, who have been photographing the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy since November. His work is nominated for an iReport Award in Compelling Imagery.

    The emphasis right now is on rebuilding the boardwalks in time for the summer, but homeowners are still hurting, he said. 'Everyone thinks there's a lot of rebuilding going on. There is not. It's very difficult to find images ... People don't realize how bad it was and how bad it still is.'
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    May 1, 2013 marked the reopening of Sandy Hook, after being closed for six months due to the extensive damage suffered from Hurricane Sandy. Most of the seven-mile park, part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, is now open to the public. Its six public beaches are available to fishermen and for daytime strolls. The return seemed next to impossible late last year when we were taken on a tour by Tom Hoffman, Park Historian (see our CNN iReport: "Sandy Hits Sandy Hook, New Jersey". Welcome back Sandy Hook.


    Photo captions:


    1. Student Color Guard of the Marine Academy of Science and Technology, Monmouth County, NJ. (Behind the scenes note: I asked the color guard group if I could  stage them for this photograph. As I was finishing my shots I suddenly  heard a large number of foot steps running towards us. It was a group of  other photographers scrambling to capture this classic image.)


    2. Ribbon cutting ceremony. Left to right: Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr., Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, and Sandy Hook Unit Coordinator Pete McCarthy.


    3. Some of the first cars entering the park.

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