Humanitarian Activities

Back to listMay 26, 2007

City in Mississippi, USA, Thanks Local SGI-USA Members for Park Restoration

Pass Christian, Mississippi, USA, recently opened Daisaku and Kaneko Ikeda Garden in the city park in appreciation for the local SGI-USA members' contributions to restoring the park, which had been ravaged in Hurricane Katrina's wake two years ago. On May 26, 2007, local SGI-USA members participated in the opening with Pass Christian Mayor Leo McDermott.

(David Lewis) 070706x_wt_passchristian1.jpg Clean-up of city park in Pass Christian

When Hurricane Katrina swept through the area on August 29, 2005, the small city with a population of around 6,500, lying on the Gulf of Mexico coast, was all but demolished. Of the original 8,000 homes, only 500 remained. With the support of government services and a coalition of volunteers, residents began rebuilding their homes and communities from the ground up. In spring 2006, residents and volunteers began restoring the central park, which has long been a hub of town activities.

At the garden's opening, attended by around 50 civic officials, residents and SGI-USA representatives, Mayor McDermott said it will be several years before the city is completely rebuilt, but it may take a lifetime to rebuild the hearts of those affected by the disaster. Thanking the SGI-USA members for their help in restoring the park, he voiced his expectation that it will serve as a haven of hope for local residents who visit it. To commemorate the occasion, the mayor proclaimed Mr. and Mrs. Ikeda honorary citizens of the city and May 26 as Daisaku and Kaneko Ikeda Day.

(Robin Labigang) 070706x_wt_passchristian2.jpg Local SGI-USA members at the garden opening with Mayor McDermott (center, standing between certificates)

[Adapted from articles in the July 6, 2007 issue of the World Tribune, SGI-USA, and the June 18, 2007 issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]